God’s Protection

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Love “always protects”. (1 Corinthians 13:7a/NIV).

Where most English translations have “bears all things”, the NIV and some others have “always protects”. As I have mentioned previously the Greek word is derived from a word that refers to a roof.

You can easily imagine that a roof may bear heavy loads of snow in a cold winter. At the same time you might point out that a roof will protect those within the building from rain and from the heat of the day.

Love “always protects”. Studying this chapter might become burdensome to us, if we should only consider it in terms of how a good Christian might or should behave. Today I like to point you to God’s love and to the way he protects his redeemed people.

“But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour…” (Isaiah 43:1-3a/NIV).

Please note, being a Christian believer and having received forgiveness of your sins does not mean you will never get into troubles and difficulties. The verses above imply there might be situations where God’s people have to go through waters, through rivers or even through the fire.

God is not going to keep us from unpleasant circumstances. Yet here he promises to protect us as we are going through these difficulties.

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When Jesus left his disciples behind as he was raised into heaven, he commissioned them to go into the entire world and to preach the good news. Common sense, church history and experiences of present day missionaries show that going into foreign countries easily can mean you get yourself into unexpected problems.

Jesus sends his disciples to go. In doing so they had to leave their comfort zone. They might come across people who are not favourably disposed to Christian missions. Yet he comforts his friends: “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20/NIV).

Christian believers might have to face difficulties and even hostility. Yet Jesus here promises he will be with us. He will not leave us alone.

As we study and meditate on God’s protection for his children, we might also consider the following comforting words:

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13/NIV).

You may be interested to learn that in the KJV we read that in temptation God will provide a way to escape “that ye may be able to bear it”. God will help us so that we can bear temptation.

Love “beareth all things”. God will help us and protect us in difficulties!

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Loving Interaction

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„Love is always supportive…“ ( 1 Corinthians 13:7/Contemporary English Version)

As I have done in studying previous verses, I again have been looking at a list of all English translations printed out from BibleGateway.com. The Contemporary English Version is copyrighted by the American Bible Society. You can get more information about this version on the website of Bible Gateway. You might also purchase a copy of that translation from there.

In my last post of 2019 (Christmas post) I have been pointing out that the Greek word translated “beareth” in the KJV is derived from a Greek word that denotes a roof.

I wrote: “You can either be a roof over something or somebody or you might be a wall or a structure that carries a roof. Today I want to ask the question: What kind of roofing would you and I like to have above ourselves?”

For the first section of verse 7 I have chosen a feature image of a small hut with a tyled roof. This is going to remind you of the root of that Greek word, as long as I am going to deal with this part of the verse.

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Now the translation I have quoted above seems to fit in well with this imagery of a building that carries a roof. You might say “the walls carry a roof” or perhaps also “the walls support a roof”.

What has love to do with carrying? Perhaps you might think of first aid or of nursing. People who for physical reasons are unable to walk by themselves at times may need to be literally carried. Or think of a little baby that is carried about by his or her parents.

We also say we carry or we bear somebody (in a metaphoric sense) thinking of somebody who is burdensome to us. Yet the word “burdensome” is a negative expression. It implies thinking something negative about somebody else.

I like the rendering of the CEV: “Love is always supportive”. Being supportive requires a positive attitude.

Being supportive would mean helping others be and become the best they can be. It implies helping others grow and mature.

Parents or teachers need to develop that attitude of supporting those entrusted to them. Yet being positive and supportive can also facilitate matters in the work place.

This kind of attitude will enhance any form of relationship or friendship. Please not that Paul in writing these words would have thought of interactions in a church setting!

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