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I received this in my email inbox and thought it was too good to keep to myself.

Notwithstanding this evident plan and purpose of a divine redemption which runs through the Scriptures, there are today many professedly Christian writers who treat the Israelitish religion as if it were a purely natural development. They diligently pick out every instance of a superstitious observance, or of a departure from the law, or of a disobedience to the divine commands, as if these represented the true religion of ancient Israel. They cut up the books and doctor the documents and change the text and wrest the meaning, to suit the perverted view of their own fancy. They seem to think that they know better what the Scriptures ought to have been than the prophets and apostles and even the Lord Himself! They tell us when revelations must have been made, and how and where they must have been given, and what their contents could have been, as if they knew more about such matters than God himself. Imagine a man's writing the history of the last eighteen hundred years and denying that the New Testament had been in existence during all that time, denying that the Christian church with all its saving doctrines and benevolent institutions and beneficent social system derived from the New Testament had been active and, in a sense, triumphant for at least fifteen hundred years, simply because he could select thousands of examples of superstitious customs, and hellish deeds, and impious words, and avowed agnostics, and heaven-defying atheists, that have disgraced the pages of history during this time!

Let us not grovel for the beetles and the earth worms of almost forgotten faiths which may perchance be discovered beneath the stones and sod of the Old Testament, while the violets and the lilies- of-the-valley of a sweet and lowly faith are in bloom on every page and every oracle revealed within the Word of God is jubilant with songs of everlasting joy. The true religion of Israel came down from God arrayed in the beautiful garments of righteousness and life. We cannot substitute for this heaven made apparel a robe of human manufacture, however fine it be.

(Robert Dick Wilson, Ph.D., D.D., "Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?", Originally Published in 1922).

I Plead Ignorance!

Genesis 4:9 "And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?"

Who was the first man ever born? If you said Adam you're off just a was Cain (Adam's oldest son). Now who was the first murderer? Sadly, its Cain again. It didn't take mankind very long to start off on the wrong foot with killing of each other, did it?! This had nothing to do with a "broken home" or a "bad environment" as many like to blame for sin and violence. This was simply just selfishness and anger on his part. Think about it: the very first man that was ever born became a murderer. That says a load about the true nature of man, doesn't it?!?
As God did with Adam in the Garden of Eden, He asked Cain a rhetorical question. He said, "Where is Abel thy brother?" Did God really need that information? No-He knew exactly where Abel was at that moment. The one who needed to be "enlightened" was Cain. God asked him that question to pinpoint his sin-to help Cain see what he had done.
Many times, questions can be more piercing than accusations, and so it was with Cain. He responded to God with the famous line, "I know not: am I my brother's keeper?" Many times, we use this line in sarcasm to distance ourselves from responsibility. And that is exactly why Cain said what he did! Instead of acknowledging his guilt, he pled ignorance. And he lied-plain and simple-when he said, "I know not." He refused to come face to face with his sin.
Though most of us have never literally murdered anyone, we tend to do just what Cain did. We turn a blind eye to the sin in our lives and act as if it is not there. Though acting innocent before others may be convincing, we cannot plead ignorance before an all-knowing God. He knows the sins of our hearts; He sees what we think we have hidden.
Notice the second part of Cain's reply. Not only did he plead ignorance, but then he exaggerated God's demands to turn the focus away from his responsibility: "Am I my brother's keeper?" Was Cain put on this earth by God for the sole purpose of taking care of his brother? The answer is obviously no. But does that clear him from any responsibility for his brother? Again, the answer is no. Cain was trying to evade responsibility altogether.
Mankind today still does this. For instance, if someone is confronted about a sin in his life, he might respond, "So now I'm the biggest sinner in the world, huh? Who are you to say?" Is he truly the "biggest sinner in the world"? I would dare say no. But does that mean his "little" sin is not important to God? The truth is, Cain was responsible to God for his actions toward his brother. He did need to answer for his brother's welfare.
Pleading ignorance never works with God. It didn't work for Cain, and it doesn't work for any of us. Are you your "brother's keeper"? Well, like Cain, you do have responsibility before God for how you treat those around you. Don't shirk that responsibility by pleading ignorance. Face up to your responsibilities. Get right what you need to get right. Be honest with yourself and with God. You'll be the better for it, and so will those around you.

In A Perfect World...

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

What would a perfect world be like? In Scripture, we get glimpses of a perfect world at the beginning in Genesis and at the end in Revelation. In Genesis, we see what the world was like at creation, before the fall of man and before the curse of sin. In Revelation, we see what the world will be like someday when God creates a "new heaven and a new earth" free from sin.

Are there any similarities between the two? Well, among others, the glaring similarity is that both perfect worlds are perfect because they remain just the way God made them! No sin, and no individuals demanding their own way over God's. And guess what? In both perfect worlds, everything runs smoothly in perfect harmony. We can summarize the whole first chapter of Genesis with eight words: "God was was good."

Everything that God does is "good" just the way he made it. Nothing that comes from God's hand ever needs improvement or adjustment. That may seem like an obvious truth to emphasize, yet many of us live each day as if God's plan for us needs some manipulation and improvement. We want to order our days according to what we think is important and according to what our own ideals are.

If you take a few minutes to watch the news on any given day, you will see that mankind is completely inept! We vote for candidates that we think will solve all of our problems, and then we find that nothing really changes when they take office. And every day there are plenty of other examples of mankind messing things up! Take a look at the first perfect world. What messed things up? Was it God's plan that eventually went awry? No! Things went terribly wrong when man started making decisions independently of God.

So what does this mean for you today? You should set out to order your day according to God's ideals. You should submit to God's Word today, even in the small areas today. When you truly believe that God's way is best, you will submit, even when you don't understand. Don't manipulate your life to fit your own ideals, because you won't succeed at making it turn out right.

When the day is all done, who will be pleased with your decisions? Start your day praying, "Lord, you are the Creator; I am the creation. Help me to depend upon you for all that I need, and help me to submit to your plan for me." Trust God and obey-this is the way to get a glimpse of what that perfect world will be like someday.