The presence of the Holy Spirit will manifest itself in certain ways often called the fruits [or indicators] of the presence of the Holy Spirit, which will develop more and more over time, as we overcome more and more and grow in godliness.
The scriptures contain a list of the Fruits of God’s Spirit and also a list of the Gifts of God’s Spirit. Fruits means the evidence of God’s Spirit and nature in a person. The Gifts of love, wisdom, knowledge and faith are the same as the fruits, but the gifts of healing, prophecy and tongues are additional special gifts for the edifying of the whole assembly. This series will present identical Fruits and Gifts together in the same articles, and will place those specific Gifts [healing, tongues and prophecy] not included in the list of Fruits in their own articles.
We call the end results of anything, its consequences or fruits; the Holy Spirit in us produces these fruits in us.
The Holy Spirit is the essence and nature of God, therefore GOD IS: Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love [agape], joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 523 Meekness, temperance: and we are to grow to become like God.
The fruits of God’s Spirit are the evidences or proofs of God’s Spirit and nature in us. When we plant a seed that seed will germinate and grow to become a plant. When God plants his Holy Spirit in us, it will grow [if nurtured by much study, putting away sin and internalizing godliness, and obedience to every Word of God] and fill us with the nature of God [the nature of God being the nature of God’s Spirit [the fruits of the Spirit].
The nature of God and of the Spirit of God in us, grows in us through the unresisted presence and growth of God’s Spirit in us. If we are diligent to learn and to live by every Word of God, to diligently seek all truth – for God is truth, and to reject every false thing, the very nature of God will grow in us, which nature is: Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Longsuffering refers to more than just patience, it means enduring patiently and faithfully living by every Word of God through all adversity.
It means keeping God’s commandments, under the tremendous pressures and temptations placed on us to turn away from our zeal for the whole Word of God.
It means enduring for a lifetime, from the point of our calling; overcoming extremely adverse conditions to be accounted among the Chosen for eternal life in the Promised Land of the Family of God; to keep His will and Word Forever and Ever, under much better circumstances!
Hebrews 11 tells us of the enduring of many faithful people of God as an example for us to follow in patiently enduring the trials of this life.
Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
If we value eternity with God as the pearl of great price, then all adversity is nothing at all, compared to standing before my God and hearing the words: “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25)
Galatians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
How do we endure and overcome? Through following the wisdom and power of the Spirit of God the Father and Jesus Christ dwelling in those who obey and live by every Word of God with enthusiastic zeal.
Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
For Ye Have Need of Patience
Are We There Yet?
When I was a child, my family would often take trips to go “up north” to go camping and fishing. The place that we would go was about two hundred miles away from home. It took approximately three and an half hours to get there. For a child, that seemed like a long, long time; especially with six other siblings and three or four various kinds of pets in the back seats (we had a nine passenger station wagon).
Most of the time the trips would be in the summertime, and it could get pretty hot; so some would want the windows open. Others wanted them closed because the wind was blowing on them too much. The pets had to be kept separated or they would start barking, or meowing, or flying around (yes, we had bird pets too). They would get somewhat overheated (and probably stressed out by all of the kids) and would start clawing or scrambling about, wanting to get out of the car.
The youngest two of my siblings were twins so when they were still babies, then toddlers, there were babies crying mixed in with kids whining, squabbling, fighting about who got to sit by the window, pet noises, chirping crickets (from the fish live bait box), sound of the wind blowing through the car and parents trying to carry on a conversation.
Invariably, one of us would ask our parents every so often; “Are we almost there yet?” “How much further do we have to go?” “How much longer?”
The standard answer was “we’re not there yet, just sit back and BE PATIENT! And quit your complaining.”
Sometimes we ask God the same thing: “How much longer before Christ’s return and we are delivered from the stress of living in this chaotic world?”
Longsuffering: a Much Needed Fruit of the Spirit!
This week we look at the fourth quality of the fruit of the Spirit called, “longsuffering”.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit and is a supernatural gift from God. God is the source of patient longsuffering and He is the essence of patience/longsuffering, Himself. God wants His children to have this quality as well. Without the fruit of longsuffering we will not enter the Kingdom of God and without patience we can not endure until the end.
We think of patience in today’s world, and there seems to be very little of it as we observe the short-temperness (which is the opposite of long-suffering) that abounds and is everywhere. It seems that patience is something that is very much lacking in this world that is full of impatience, rudness, greed, lust, anger, hatred. The ability to be longsuffering can only come from God, not from ourselves or from the world, and must be ingrained into the very character of His children.
The English definition of longsuffering:
1. having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.
2. suffering for a long time without complaining :
3. very patient during difficult times;
4. able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people
5. manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
6. not hasty or impetuous
7. steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
8. able or willing to bear
9. remaining steadfast even through criticism, monotony and discouraging situations.
The Greek word for longsuffering is makrothumos (Strong’s #3114, #3115) and means: longanimity, i.e. (objectively) forbearance or (subjectively) fortitude — longsuffering, patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; especially as shown in bearing troubles and ills 2. slowness in avenging wrongs.
The Hebrew word is arek appayim (Strong’s #750 + #639) and means the same things; patient, slow to anger.
The virtue of patience brings to mind images of determination, tolerance and passivity in most people’s thinking. Though some of these definitions are somewhat true within the scope of the Biblical definition; Scriptures reveal this very important character trait means much more, and is far more complex than just these passive meanings for longsuffering.
Why is Patience Important?
How important is the fruit of longsuffering? James says that patience’ work will make us perfect and entire. He says that patience is a most critical ingredient to achieve our perfection and our completion in conforming us into God’s image.
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Patience is not merely a fixed resoluteness to just grin and bear it, but is to be used to make actual progress in spite of trials and troubles. One type of bird may cling ferociously to a tree branch during a strong unrelenting wind; while other types, like an eagle, will take advantage of the high winds to soar with outstretched wings to bring it even closer to its destination.
This is the kind of patience that James in his Epistle is admonishing us to have and to use it for positive purposes; to attain the character we will need to have to become one of God’s firstfruits and to enter the Kingdom of God.
It takes a lot of time to refashion a carnal child into a child of God fit for the Master’s use. God is very patient with His children and is allowing plenty of time to get us prepared to be kings and priests.
Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
The person who is spoken of in verse 15 who brings forth fruit with patience, is one who has had to forebear all of the things in the previous verses; i.e. the devil trying to take away the seed of the Word of God, has had to become rooted in God’s Word, has endured temptation, has had to live (and worship) among thorns, and has had to resist the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life. These verses show a kind of elimination process to screen out those who are called, but who will not endure. How was the person in verse 15 able to bring forth fruit? able to produce when others were disqualified and lost out? By exercising (among the other fruit) the fruit of God’s patience or longsuffering!
Patience is a virtue having to do with relating to our actions and thoughts toward others and how we handle our attitude during trying times in our lives.
Jesus’ Example of Longsuffering
Almost everyday we come in contact with people who are easily angered or irritated. They are not ashamed to show their displeasure, with angry expressions on their faces, their complaining, grumbling, criticizing, cursing, yelling; sometimes even threatening others because they are in their way or they are hampering their efforts of getting what they want or to do what they want to do. (Think road-rage that is very common place now.)
We all have varying degrees of what it takes to evoke impatience in us; whether its little things or big things that can make us agitated and impatient.
When we think of what Jesus was like, we can see from the Gospel accounts that He never indulged His emotions to getting “mad” or impatient with others. He did not ever act or react with agitation, impatience, unseemly behavior, sarcasm, cursing; even when presented with the most ignorant and cruel statements that were said to and about Him.
Jesus did not lose control of His anger in any of the situations that talked about how the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes would try to trap him, or accused Him of the most blasphemous things imaginable.
He did become justifiably angry when leaders were taking advantage of the common people in the temple, and making God’s house of prayer a den of thieves. But even then, He did not lose control, and His indignation was righteous anger.
As a man, Christ did not retaliate, never tried to get even with those who opposed Him, or who spoke evil to Him, or those who tried to hurt His reputation; nor even with those who tried to kill Him. But He wisely and patiently left any retaliation due in these situations to God’s judgment. This is also an example for us.
1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Jesus is our perfect model of what it is to have the fruit of longsuffering! He is the example we must strive to follow. It is because He was patient to the point of enduring persecution and torture from sinners and was obedient even to the death of the cross; that makes it possible to have His atoning sacrifice applied to our sins so that we can be forgiven and become children of the Father.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
There is no human being that can ever even come close to displaying the patience that Jesus did. He never sinned and He always kept himself from behaving impatiently or with any burst of anger towards even the worst of sinners. When dying on the stake He prayed “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
The fact that He had patience perfectly in every cirumstance, but that we sometimes fail, should not keep us from striving with everything we have to exemplify Him in this area. We are to cry out for His help to live as He lived when we find ourselves slipping by being impatient in thought, word, or deed.
Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
When Moses asked to be allowed to see a glimpse of God’s glory, God granted him his request and declared His name; which includes LONGSUFFERING. Just like He is a God of love, joy, peace, truth, goodness, He is a God of patient enduring. It is included in His name, is what He is about, and it is one of His attributes.
Exodus 34:5 And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 34:6 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Being Grateful For God’s Patience With Us
We should be forever grateful that patience is a major characteristic of our God and that He is not short-tempered or rash. He is giving us plenty of time and opportunity to grow in grace and knowledge in order to allow us to develop into His image and to become complete as He is complete. God’s patience delays His wrath, allowing time for His bride to become prepared and readied.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Combined with patience; the virtues of grace, mercy, lovingkindness and goodness permits God to work with His children, so they have time on their journey called life, to be taught, to learn, to practice keeping the whole Word of God and eventually to be transformed into His spiritual image.
If God were like most of humanity and struck out at people in anger over their mistakes, just as short-fused humans often do, no one would be alive today. Jonah, in a typically human carnal reaction, wanted God to destroy all the sinners of Nineveh, Israel’s enemy, annihilating them completely!
God is very patient with us; with both His spiritual people and also with the people in the world, as He desires to have all people come to repentance, as Peter attests to:
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
We Should Never Abuse God’s Patience For Us
As God’s people, those who are called to be part of the Ekklesia, we should never take this merciful attribute of God to be patient with us for granted. He is giving us time, but at some point if we begin to take advantage of His forbearance, and abuse the fact that He is patient with us; by neglecting our calling, becoming lax in obeying His Word, or refusing to apply the beatitudes and all the fruit of His Spirit; if we turn away from Him, or continue to follow our traditions rather than putting Him first in our lives, He will also keep His promises to exercise His righteous wrath against us.
He warns His people that He is going to spit the compromising and luke-warm Laodiceans out of His mouth; also He will render to each one according to that one’s deeds.
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 8:13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.
It is obvious from Scripture that God’s patience is exercised so that He can do a work in His people, as a wise Master Potter working with His clay to produce repentance and a vessel that is made into His image.
But as we can see from the world we live in and even in the Ekklesia; all too often, His goodness, longsuffering and patience are abused through stubbornness, pride, or neglect, and even lack of love and consideration. He is going to make a distinction between those who faithfully serve Him and their brethren, and those who become impatient and then say “my Lord delayeth His coming” and begin to abuse each other and to become like the hypocrites.
Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
God is telling us that there will come a time when His patience will become exhausted and His judgment will descend upon us if the repentance and growth that God expected does not occur. And of course, we know, that there is a time up ahead when God’s anger is going to be poured out on the whole world, in order to bring a final correction and to bring all nations to humbly submit to His rule on earth.
Let Us Run with Patience
Sometimes we come to a place that we feel so overburdened, that God has just put too much on us, more than what we can handle in our pursuit of perfection. But God encourages us to put on patience, and if we seek it and ask for it, He will give us this fruit of the Spirit just as He does the other fruits. All we have to do is ask for it (Matthew 7) and have faith that He will supply it. We put on our running shoes and just keep on running, one step at a time, day by day, one day at a time.
Hebrews 12:12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
There is a whole process of growth that will take place as we seek by faith the peace of God and His love; we then rejoice in the hope we have in God’s glory and in all that He is doing. And we know that if we glory in our trials it will work into us patience.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
What Patience Can Produce
We will need a lot of patience when we are finally glorified with Christ and we begin the work of restoring the earth from all the destruction that it sustains in the tribulation and from all the plagues of God. We will need patience and forbearance to work with the remnant who have survived the tribulation and will be gathered to become a part of the Kingdom; just as God was patient with us when He was working with us to make us into His image.
As I mentioned earlier, God is the Master Potter and to work with clay to make beautiful and functional vessels, the Potter needs to have a lot of patience.
But God promises that He will never allow us to tempted above what we are able to endure and that He will make a way for us to be able to bear whatever we have to go through. We must restrain from complaining, grumbling, losing our tempers, getting into bad attitudes; for if we can cultivate the habit of thinking of life as running a race that takes us to our goal of instilling the whole divine nature of God our Father in heaven and His Son Jesus Christ, then God will shape us into the kind of children that He wants us to be. The reward for yielding to His hands and His timing will be well worth it!
James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
James tells us that God is like a husbandman that is waiting for the precious fruit of the earth, His firstfruits, with long patience for it. There will come a time when that fruit will become ripe and ready and He will delay His coming no more.
God is on a mission and we should be too; to be very zealous to live as He does, to be patient and longsuffering, knowing that God is doing something so incredibly miraculous with those He is calling, and with those who have chosen to stay on the Potter’s wheel no matter what, until we are made into the people of God that He has designed us to be from the foundation of the world. Just think of all the patience that God the Father, along with the Son, have had for eons of time in planning, designing, implementing, creating, and then just like husbandmen waiting for their trees to take root and grow into giant oaks.
The fruit of patience is a invaluable gift from God the Father to His Children! It is a gift but we still must choose to apply and implement it into our lives and use it whenever we have the opportunity. If we do, we will be examples to the world of what it means to be as Paul taught the Colossians:
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
As God’s people, His Ekklesia, we are to live His way of life now while in these clay bodies, the way that God the Father and His Son live their lives, having the fruit of patience. Living this way will help to prepare us for God’s Kingdom, and it enables us to glorify Him here and now. We will be that beacon on the hill. And by exemplifying genuine patience in our lives, we will let our lights so shine before men, that they will see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Psalm 73 Commentary
A psalm of Asaph
The Tragedy of the Wicked, and the Blessedness of Trust in God
Psalm 73 is attributed to Asaph and is a psalm of learning to trust God in the midst of witnessing how the disobedient seem to be “blessed” with prosperity, good health, and good fortune; in contrast to those who are striving to obey God, but suffer in this life. From the superscription we know that the author of this writing is Asaph.
Asaph was one of three of David’s chief musicians who played a major role in directing the music and worship in the temple. The temple musicians were also Levites and were divided into three groups according to their descent from Levi’s three sons. The Levitical singers in David’s time were led by the three leaders: Heman, Asaph, and Ethan who were descended from Kohath, Gershon, and Merari respectively, the three sons of Levi. (1 Chronicles 3:31-47)
It appears from the way this is addressed to the wicked, that it was other wicked Israelites that Asaph is distraught about and envious of. One reason indicating this is verse 11; God is addressed as “God” and the “Most High”. The nations of non-Isralites would be referring to their many gods and not to the one God as He was known in Israel. The sins that Aspah describe are not those of the pagan nations but of his countrymen, wicked Israelites.
From the information given in the Bible in regards to Asaph, he was a Levite in service to the temple and therefore a full time temple worker, ministering to the people of Israel by directing the music, choir, and temple worship. And being a Levite, his responsibilities would also include teaching God’s people about His law. His occupation put him in constant contact with God’s people. It was his own people that were prospering, but were not being obedient to God; not only in the way they obtained their wealth, but also their management of it. And the same kind of things are happening in the modern day nation of Israel and Church of God as well.
This Psalm contains a lot of wisdom that teaches us much about God’s true perspective about trials and why the obedient sometimes suffer more than those that are disobedient (or seem to). The writer, Asaph, admits his perplexity as to why the wicked seem to be rewarded in this life while the righteous have afflictions.
In the beginning of this Psalm, Asaph tells us about his struggle with envy toward others, which then is contributing to growing doubt in the goodness of God. But as a result of this despair over what he suffers, he goes to God to search out the answer by going into the sanctuary of God, and he gains understanding and it renews his trust in God.
This fundamental question contained in this psalm is “How can a good God allow the righteous to experience trials that should be reserved for those who do not obey Him?”
This is a question that has puzzled God’s people throughout the ages; and as Christian’s, we too, sometimes still grapple with this faulty perception. We may not even realize that we are questioning this, until we come face to face with what is in our hearts, as Asaph did.
We too, can be tempted into a perspective similar to Asaph; especially today in our modern highly materialistic and pleasure seeking culture. We too, notice that those in our society that appear to be happy and enjoying the “good life,” are far from keeping God’s commandments, are arrogant, and ridicule and mock those who are trying to follow God’s ways.
Most of us, who God is calling now, will never own mansions or yachts in this life or even come close to living in luxury. But what God has to offer is in the way of spiritual blessings for our lives now, and especially the spiritual blessings we can receive in His coming Kingdom, if we remain faithful. Those spiritual blessings will far surpass anything this world could ever offer us. (See Hebrews 11)
The lesson taught in this Psalm is of utmost importance and it is imperative that we (if we haven’t discovered this already) discover the answer that God revealed to Asaph. For just like Asaph, we may be in danger of doubting God and His goodness when we see what is happening around us, in the world, and even in the Ekklesia; when those who are not keeping God’s commandments seem to be prospering so much more than we.
We, too, could come to the place where we start to lose grip on our faith in God if we do not come to terms with this spiritual problem; if we have the kind of envy and bitterness that Asaph admitted to. I believe that this psalm is trying to address this problem and serves as a profound lesson to those that are a part of God’s Ekklesia.
Psalm 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
In the opening verses, Asaph describes the crisis of faith he experienced and his personal struggle with what he was witnessing. He begins in verse 1 with stating one of the most primary tenets of Biblical theology: That truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure. But then he confesses that he almost stumbled when he became envious of the success and prosperity of the ungodly.
In this first verse, Asaph states the truth on which God’s people’s faith is founded, which underlies the basis of why that same truth troubled his faith. The faith of believers has always been rooted in the firm conviction of God’s existence and the assurance that in His goodness, He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Asaph’s despondency seems to result from two separate problems. The first concerns the apparent departure of God from His covenant promise to bless the righteous and curse the wicked. The second is Asaph’s personal struggle with envy concerning the prosperity of and the lifestyle of those who had blatantly departed from God’s Covenant.
The problem which Asaph describes in verses 2 and 3 is the cause of his personal spiritual problem. In poetic terms, Asaph depicts his frame of mind and heart as approaching a very dangerous position, picturing it, perhaps, like being close to a cliff and almost slipping and falling to destruction. He says that his feet had almost slipped and he had nearly lost his footing (verse 2). He then humbly confesses that it was because “I was envious of the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked”. He realizes his sin in the whole matter, admits that he has become envious and bitter about this reality, and then goes on to tell the whole story of how he was able to come to terms with why it is so with the righteous and the wicked.
The suffering of the saints and the prosperity of the wicked is an issue which is oftentimes addressed throughout Scriptures. We find it also in the Book of Job: Job and his friends questioning and trying to analyze the seemingly ironical turn of events in Job’s life.
As we study God’s Word further, we then come face-to-face with it again in Asaph’s psalm. In Psalm 73 the question is implied “How can a good God allow the righteous to suffer”? and reveals several misconceptions in our thinking. We sometimes have the assumption that suffering and going through various trials is bad and therefore irreconcilable with God’s goodness toward His children. But what Asaph has to offer us is what he learned! That we need to look at our definition of “good’ and to understand that God is not the author of evil by allowing us to suffer. Asaph provides us with some insights in this Psalm from what he learned by addressing this very thing.
Asaph believed that the God of Israel existed, that He was good to those who were of a clean heart (righteous), and that He was sovereign. However on the other hand, this belief in God’s goodness was the cause of the psalmist’s difficulty of reconciling what he observed about the differences between the wicked and the righteous, with what he had been taught about God.
His line of thinking perhaps went something like this: “If God exists, and He is good so as to reward the faithful, and He is so powerful, totally in control of the events of this life, then why is it that in this world the wicked seem to be doing better than the righteous?” The realities of life that Asaph was observing, seemed to be inconsistent with his faith! The question to what he was witnessing then, was that if sinners succeed, and those who are clean of heart suffer, then therefore how can God be good?
For others who are perplexed by this fact in life, there seems to be an array of explanations to this common question about the righteous suffering. The atheist says that there is no God. A cynical person says that there is a God, but questions His goodness and imputes that God is cruel. Others believe that there is a God who is loving, good and kind, but that He is not all powerful and that things happen outside His will. Many in this world will say that they believe in God’s existence but not in His greatness, and that He is not able to spare His children from sufferings.
But as Christians, we do have faith that God does exist, and we believe that He is good, and that He is Almighty, all powerful, and that He is a rewarder of the righteous and a judge of the wicked.
Like Asaph, how then, do we explain the seemingly contradiction of what we, too, see in this world as we observe like Asaph, the suffering of the saints and the prosperity of the wicked?
Asaph takes us through the steps of his personal struggle from the beginning of this Psalm; first his despair over his observations and complaints; to then realizing his sin; repenting and then being given the revelation to his question; right up to the exuberance of his renewed trust in God and confirming his faith in God’s goodness.
Asaph’s spiritual stability of what he believed had been shaken. He recognized that he had a spiritual sin problem and that it had nearly cost him his faith. The cause of this lapse in faith, he himself, identified was “envy.” The Hebrew word is qanha (Strong’s #7065) be envious, be move to, provoke to jealousy, very, be zealous i.e. (in a bad sense).
The English translation for envious; a feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another; bitterness, rancor, rancour, resentment, gall – a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will; covetousness – an envious eagerness to possess something.
The envy Asaph felt was a type of bitterness over the unfairness of life; he had become jealous for what he perceived as God’s blessings that had been given to the ungodly and not to himself.
Yes, this was a very grave sin and Asaph realized that he needed to root this bitterness out if he wanted to be “of a clean heart” (verse 1) and to remain a true and faithful follower of the LORD that he loved so much.
We, too, as Christians who are trying to obey God and seek Him with all our hearts can become distressed over the evils of this world. We can grieve rightly (have righteous indignation) but have it for the wrong reason, like Aspah, who became envious, rather than having condemnation toward the sin, and pity for those sinning. As David instructed us in Psalm 37:1 we are not to fret because of evil men nor be envious of them.
Psalm 73:4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 73:5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 73:6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
Asaph could see that the attitudes and actions of the wicked seemed to reap no adverse consequences upon them. They appear not to have trouble like himself and others. Their pride and violence are not hidden but are displayed like fine chains and necklaces around their necks. They are able to fulfill their lustful desires and then boast about their wicked activities and how they are able to oppress others in order to increase their riches for themselves.
Psalm 73:7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
In the Old Testament, as well in our day, the righteous tend to think of wealth as not just a blessing for themselves, but was to be used to benefit and help the less fortunate. The wealthy had an obligation to help the widows, orphans, the poor.
The successful prospering sinners of his day, whom Asaph observed in his association with his fellow Israelites, seemed to have none of the compassion and generosity which was to be expected.
Just like many in our day, instead of using their wealth and influence as a means of helping others, the wicked used it as a tool for oppression and they gain even more riches, by taking advantage of the weak and the poor.
Asaph perceived the insensibility of the wealthy and influential and saw that they were not content with their vast riches, but were continually scheming to get more and more, and usually at the expense of others
Psalm 73:8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
They had no compassion or sympathy for others and oppression was their method of operation throughout their lives. The means (of being oppressive) justified their ends; of getting even wealthier and then bragging about it.
Psalm 73:9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.73:10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 73:11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 73:12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
The picture that Asaph paints in verses 4-12 is distorted by his own self pity, for in reality not everyone in this world is prosperous, healthy, without troubles and arrogantly flaunting their evilness. Prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, inner cities, ghettos, streets with the homeless, conditions in third world countries, etc., are full of suffering people who are clearly not reaping the physical blessings that Asaph was seeing as he described in these verses.
In our modern day society, living in the nations that have been blessed by Joseph’s birthright promises for the end times (Genesis 49:22-26), we can have a disproportionate view of what constitutes wealth and blessings. Also, we can have the Hollywood and the Sports Arena mentality of what represents beauty, fame, popularity, wealth, strength and vitality; as we constantly see a parade of images of beautiful models, famous actors/actresses, popular sport figures, high ranking politicians, as they are constantly exhibited in the media and in the news.
Not only in the ranks of Hollywood and Sporting Associations, but this happens in religious circles as well. Those who teach contrary to what God’s Word commands us, who teach the most outrageous heresies, are the ones who have huge followings and reap riches from those that look to them as the moral authorities of the world. And many church of God groups have been deceived into judging their spiritual health by their finances or growth in numbers.
It can sometimes seem like those who have the most ungodly lifestyles are the ones who appear to “have it all”. The pride and arrogance of the elitists-types in our society are flaunted toward other people by their attitudes and actions, elevating themselves to god-like levels, as idols to be adored and worshiped by their “fans”. They have even become so embolden to the point that they openly blaspheme God and His laws and teachings as well. It seems that these are the very people who encourage the most despicable abominations, even using their wealth and prominence by getting involved and becoming activists and promoters of the most vile of sins, like abortion and gay rights. So in our minds we, too, can sometimes think, “how can they get away with all this sin and still prosper”?
And if we are focusing on these people with envy for them in our hearts as Asaph did, it is easy to think that this is a prevalent fact of life, and Satan uses these high profile people to delude people’s perspective in this area and wants them to have doubts about the right ways of God and of His goodness.
Psalm 73:13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 73:14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. 73:15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 73:16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
As an Israelite, Asaph was familiar with the covenant promises of peace to Israel. So many places in the Old Testament do teach that if God’s commandments and laws are kept and followed He will bless His people with many blessings, and if they are not obeyed, judgment as curses will be applied. Many verses in the Bible talk of this. The whole chapters of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 reiterate all the promises for blessings of the righteous and the curses for the disobedient. God’s “Covenant of Peace” is an expression of God’s promises as we find in Isaiah 32:17-18, 54:10, Numbers 25:12.
Asaph was very much a highly regarded teacher in Israel; he was a leader and an example for the people that worshiped at the temple. He felt a responsibility to those he taught to get this problem straighten out; not only for his own salvation but for those who had been placed in his care as well.
If he were to allow this all-consuming envy to continue, he would damage his witness to others and could cause them to stumble and lose faith in God also, including those generations that would come after him. He wrote about what he believed about God, His commandments and the importance of teaching the next generation in another psalm:
Psalm 78:1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 78:3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.78:4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 78:5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 78:6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 78:7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 78:8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
In spite of what he believed and taught as evidenced in Psalm 78, the success of the wicked that the psalmist saw, and over which he agonized, was colored by his own sinful attitude of jealousy and envy. He had let the success of the sinful rouse his anger by the thought that sin could bring so much pleasure and wealth to them, while his own seeking after righteousness brought little in comparison (at least in his own mind).
As Christians who seek to live righteously, we should be grieved by the sin we see around us, even as Lot was distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless (2 Peter 2:7-8). But Asaph was consumed with envy, covetousness, and greed, not necessarily grief.
We too, who are trying to obey God and seek Him with all our hearts, can become distressed over the evils of this world. We can grieve rightly (have righteous indignation) but like Aspah, can envy the wealthy and worldly successful, rather than have condemnation toward the sin and pity for those sinning. God’s people may be tempted to think “is it really worth it, to keeping oneself pure?”
The people in Malachi’s day were having this same problem and the Lord rebukes them for saying that it is vain to follow God and to strive to keep all His laws and ordinances.
Malachi 3:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
God instructs His people through David in his Psalm 37:1 to: “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.”
In a way we can understand Asaph’s perplexity by what he was seeing during his lifetime, as he had been reared and taught the perspective of these concepts as taught in Old Testament teachings about blessings and cursing. It seemed to him that God’s covenant blessings were being poured out on the ungodly, while chastening and sufferings were the lot of those who were obedient. It was to him just like it can seem to us, that God’s ways or rewards and punishment were in reverse. No wonder Asaph was perplexed and he envied.
Psalm 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
Asaph was a Levite, a teacher of the people, and he authored or transcribed many of the psalms recorded for us in Scripture.
“The Psalms of Asaph are the twelve psalms numbered, in the Masoretic Text, as 50 and 73-83, and as 49 and 72-82 in the Septuagint.” ( The On-line Wikipedia)
He was also used, to put many of the psalms including David’s, to music for temple worship. We may even be singing these songs in the millennium temple in the future.
He must have been a very gifted man and seems to be someone that God had called during the Old Testament. It appears that Asaph was a godly man, but had this temporary problem of being envious of the foolish and their prosperity.
Asaph realized he had a problem with envy and he ran to God, taking this up with Him. Because he admitted his fault, was repentant, but needed help to understand; God revealed to him the answer.
This is a wonderful example for us, when we see that we need to repent of something; either our behavior, attitude, or sin in our hearts. We must run to God for help and forgiveness and He promises that he will grant us mercy and grace to help us in our time of need, just like he did for Asaph.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Psalm 73:18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.73:19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. 73:20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
When Asaph worshipped God, he began to meditate and consider the difference between the spiritual dimension and this present temporary physical life. He had thought of prosperity and success only in materialistic terms. He had come to a conclusion that those he viewed as prosperous were free from the trials that other men had, but had failed to consider the detrimental effect prosperity had on the spiritual lives of the ungodly.
Success, being wealthy, having hardly any struggles in life, tends to make the ungodly even more covetous, greedy, abusive, oppressive. They become proud of their success, thinking that it is by their own prowess and wit that made them “better” than others and leads them even further from God’s precepts and ways of living and behaving.
This in turn makes them think that they don’t need God, that He doesn’t see what they do or if He does, He doesn’t care. They become even more complacent and arrogant in their thinking and it corrupts them. Their prosperity and good health are very short lived in the whole scheme of things and even if the wicked seem to be doing well now, they will eventually, sooner or later, grow old, lose their health, and will leave behind or lose all of their riches. Living, or dying, they do not have the hope of resurrection. They will need to learn their lessons when they are raised in the latter harvest. Hopefully, they will learn that getting riches and fame by going contrary to God’s law is all vanity; and what really matters is serving and worshiping God.
James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 5:2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
Psalm 73:21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 73:22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. 73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
When Asaph looked at his struggle with envy of the wicked, his initial assumption was that affliction was unseemly for the godly person. In conjunction with this, he believed that adversity was evil. If what we reap is what we sow then the consequence of sin should be judgment and suffering, not wealth, well being and freedom from troubles. And how could adversity and afflictions possibly be beneficial in the life of a believer?
The success of the wicked and the suffering of believers was a problem too difficult for Asaph to understand. But when he went into the sanctuary of God, then it started to become clear to him. When he worshiped God, he came to grasp the meaning of what adversity really is about and how it can be a blessing. But also how success, wealth, fame, affluence can be destructive and detrimental to the sinner!
Asaph’s afflictions and sufferings were not necessarily the result of God’s hand of judgment, as he had too hastily concluded. Instead, they were from His loving hand, testing and trials that are meant to mold us and fashion us into the sons of God, those that He is recreating into His image. God did not want to disillusion Asaph and make him discouraged and depressed, but to draw him closer to Himself and help him to have an even deeper understanding of the spiritual aspect to life, in this life and for all eternity.
In all of the psalmist’s sufferings and challenges, God never left him, but was convicting him of his need to address his attitude, his envy. God was guiding and shielding him throughout his struggle. This experience only served to deepen Asaph’s faith and assurance of God’s care and provision.
When we go through various trials, the faithfulness of God in the midst of them is further evidence of His faithfulness for whatever may befall us in the future. We can take comfort in that and never have envy for those who do not know him, who take comfort in their physical things.
Lamentations 3:22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion fail not. 3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 3:24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
This is also related to what Paul spoke of in the fifth chapter of his epistle to the Romans:
Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
And we know that even our LORD, when he was here on earth as a man, went through trials most of us cannot even imagine, that taught Him things that He would never had known unless he had suffered during His human life time.
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
When we understand God’s whole grand plan, we come to see that God has never promised to keep his people from suffering and trials, but He does promise to never put more upon us than what we can handle, AND He promises that He will always be with us.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation [conduct] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Psalm 73:27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.
Asaph concludes then, that sinners may enjoy prosperity and fame and good health in the present, but these things will not really bring them happiness, nor will they provide real security. For nothing they have will last forever. Asaph then reasons that it is only those who put their trust in God and trust Him enough to live for Him and not live for the temporary material things; who will find true lasting peace and enjoy eternal life with God in His Kingdom.
Psalm 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.
Whatever Asaph was going through, whether it was afflictions, poverty, unpopularity, persecution because he was zealous for the things of God, even though stressful; had the beneficial effect of drawing him even closer to God.
Even his sin of envy and bitterness, once he acknowledged it, caused him to run to his LORD and Master and to throw himself at the feet of God’s mercy. It was there in God’s sanctuary that he was forgiven and made to see that, rather than dwelling on his lack of what the wicked possessed and could enjoy, he could delight in the greatest blessing of all.
More than just mere physical prosperity, he possessed an intimate relationship with the great God of the Universe who loved him and was his LORD, the one who would be with him until death; and thereafter reward him abundantly more than the sinners could ever enjoy on this earth. He could look to God for all his needs, while the wicked could not even have access to God, as long as they were living in defiance to His laws and commandments.
When we worship God, it not only delights His heart, but it also revitalizes our faith and gives us a true perspective about the conditions of this present world. We give praise for the things of God; and focusing on those things that are from above, enables us to live in a world that does not seem fair or just. We look to the future world that God is going to bring to the earth; a world where the faithful will have a place and will inherit all things. Worshiping and praising God reminds us of all of His promises and fills us with hope that helps us to overcome any bitterness or envy that may arise from watching the temporary success of the sinners in our midst.
At the end of this Psalm, Asaph describes the triumph of his faith, as one who overcame his perplexity over the evils he saw, and then can turn from protest to praise, from doubt to the exuberant declaration of the GOODNESS of God.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
God’s blessings come in all kinds of forms; some are like sunshine, others are like rain; but both are necessary to grow a tree and to produce fruit.
We, as God’s created people, are all similar in some ways, but still we are very much a one-of-a-kind unique creation of God, and only He knows what is best for each one of His children: Whether we need sunshine on some days or more rain on others; and sometimes He may see that we need some storms in our lives!
And that is where longsuffering fits in with this whole Psalm. Asaph was in need of patience as he looked out in the congregation (or his community) and saw those who were prospering in the moment. He had a lapse of patience in waiting for God to bring prosperity, healing, well being to himself; and became angry that others, who were not obeying as he was, seemed to be enjoying the things that he had to wait for.
When he went into the sanctuary of God, I believe it was patience, the fruit of long-suffering, that he needed to ask for. It seems clear from the last part of his Psalm that God granted it to him. Asaph was then equipped to continue on and to be able to proclaim the praises of the God that he loved. And not only for his own generation, and the work he was given to do in David’s time; but also to record this Psalm and many others that have been preserved down through the ages. All of the Psalms writen through Asaph, a godly servant of God, teach us about keeping all of God’s ways, including the importance of having longsuffering while we are patiently waiting for God to bring to pass all of His glorious promises!
Psalm 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Patience means to wait for something, and longsuffering means to persevere in that waiting even through the most difficult circumstances. The Holy Spirit helps us to be patient for the promises of God by instilling the faith of sure assurance that God can and will keep his promises.
One of the fruits of God’s Spirit is longsuffering, which empowers and enables us to persevere [longsuffer] through the most severe trials to the end of our race of life, by filling us with patient, longsuffering, persevering faith to live a godly life, which has its reward of eternal life.
1 Corinthians 13:6
[Godly Love] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things [of God],
hopeth all things, endureth all things
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand
what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate:
but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye:
for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
13:12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death,
and the father the son; and children
shall rise up against their parents,
and shall cause them to be put to death.
13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but
he that shall endure unto the end the same shall be saved.
James Malm and Constance Belanger
Note- Constance submitted the original rough draft of this article in 2015, which I then completed for posting.