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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Forgotten Child - The Making of Women into Men

The history of abortion is described usually in terms of the need of a woman to deal with an unwanted pregnancy through its termination. Prior to the late 20th century in which procedures  for terminating an abortion were developed to significantly reduce the risk to the woman of serious medical complications or death, the risk was great and we hear of "back alley abortions" where the person performing the abortion had little experience in performing such a surgery.

In the early part of the 20th century advocates for birth control arose because of the fear of over population. Hospitals were developing policies of general cleanliness and sterilization of instruments used in surgery. New medications to control diseases and infections were produced. The death rates of women giving birth and their babies were declining as a result.

Birth control, using contraceptives like the condom, the IUD, and the "pill", was widely preached to counter the rise in birth rates.   Since the use of contraceptives  many times resulted in a pregnancy in spite of their use, abortion was suggested to terminate unwanted pregnancies that were the result of contraceptive failure.

However, many states had laws against contraception and all states had laws against abortion. Supreme Court decisions declared all such laws unconstitutional.  Abortion became legal "on demand"

Concurrently with the growth of the legalization of abortion was the feminist movement which promoted equal rights for women that matched men in wages, jobs, education and just about anything a man did or had; in other words men and women were equal in every respect.

In terms of abortion, the ultimate in the feminist movement was to look upon abortion as the equalizer with men.  No longer could men say they could have any amount of sex without  having to worry about having a baby; now women could have as much sex as men without having a baby since the pill and abortion would take care of any "problems".  There are some women who have multiple abortions in their quest to be as free as men.

Thus today ardent feminists see abortion as the ultimate gift to womanhood in making men and women truly equal.  Thus women have been made into Men.  This is a feminist perspective that, fortunately, is not held by most women.  But this feminist ideal has made too many women take risks they otherwise would not take were this attitude not linger in their minds should they take risks.  It is surprising that many women become single moms rather than abort their child.

But there is a darker side to the evolution of abortion in America and this will be the next topic on The Forgotten Child.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Forgotten Child - My perspective

Looking back on my life I cannot recall a single instance of not thinking of a human baby as anything but lovable; never have I felt that a human baby or child was in some way worthless and should be disposed of. Historical accounts of ancient Greeks disposing of an unwanted child by abandonment to the elements, the massacre of the holy innocents by Herod because he wanted to kill the Christ child, astound me that such little value is put on an innocent child. The massacre of so many little children at a school in Connecticut so recently, disturbs me and makes me wonder at the depravity of a person doing such a thing.

The tragedy of abortion was present in the United States even before the supreme court decision in Roe V Wade in 1973. But the number of these abortions were few in comparison with the number of abortions that followed this Supreme Court decision. It is sad that abortion is taken by many to be the only solution to the problem of a pregnancy that is undesirable for a host of reasons.  There has to be a better way of coping with this problem which can only be found with better understanding of the true value of womanhood and the gift of childhood.

The abuse and killing of animals causes many, including myself, to feel so sad and yet many of such people cannot bring themselves to understand that the killing of a child in the womb should likewise bring great sadness. Maybe my experience of attending Catholic schools where we were taught that human beings are created in the likeness and image of God Himself who is perfect love and loves all His creatures had the effect of my wanting to love all of God's creatures;  however many of my fellow Catholics have not had the same feeling.

In 1984 I was given the opportunity to lead an organization in my home in Hawaii, Hawaii Right To Life. This gave me an opportunity to speak out for the right to life of the unborn in speeches, interviews, and in testimony in the state legislature. We were not able to get bills through the legislature that would somehow minimize abortion so we counted on trying to educate people to honor the life of a child in or out of the womb and in this way we were able to do some good. We were more successful in defeating bills that were geared towards ending the life of people who were old and sick. We were able to stop issues  such as assisted suicide, which happens to be coming up again this session in the legislature.

My experience in the Right to Life movement has led me to realize that it is not enough to just embark on a legislative program to overturn laws and policy that allow abortion but to first understand what has made the Abortion Lobby so influential in convincing women to resort to abortion in the first place; and to change the approach to eliminating abortion by making abortion far less of a necessary choice for women than it now is.  Through education, alternative problem solving and caring about the lives of women who have a "problem pregnancy" must precede legislation whose purpose is to successfully eliminate policy and legislation allowing for unbridled "free choice".

Next I would like to address how to deal with the connection between abortion and feminism.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Yesterday I encountered a post on Yahoo which addressed a separation with Fox News and Sarah Palin as a paid contributor. This post gave a rather bleak appraisal of Sarah Palin's future in contrast to the substantial contribution she has made to bring new conservative candidates into the Republican Party.

She had run as vice president with John McCain who had picked her, a very successful Alaska Governor who fought Democrats and Republicans alike who fostered schemes to increase their power and wealth rather than help the people of Alaska. She won her battles, making government work for the people; her favorable ratings near 90% testified to her popularity.

Unfortunately there were influential leaders in the Republican Party who did not give her their 100% support and clearly criticized her; these were the same kinds of politicians she battled in Alaska. She espoused a need to reform and even eliminate many of the institutions that were handing too much control to an ever increasing size and power of the Federal government.   There was too much money, taxpayer money, that was going to the EPA, the Education Department, the Energy Department and all kinds of bureaucratic agencies which increase the power of the government by diminishing the power given to ordinary citizens through the Constitution.

Unfortunately the 2008 election brought to the presidency Barack Obama who called for change but in his various speeches during the campaign did not really explain what he meant by change. It was clear to conservatives that he wanted to create what seemed to be a socialist state, a goal in total opposition to what Sarah Palin believed.

After the election she returned to Alaska and took up her job as governor. But politicians on the left feared her and hated her with a vengeance heretofore never seen in the history of American politics. She was not attacked on the basis of her political beliefs; because the left doesn't work that way. The left, through lies, distortions, and attacks on the personal character of the person can literally destroy their enemies; it is the method used by any tyrannical regime. It was a method used by the Communists, and the Nazis.

These leftists even assaulted her womanhood in the most vicious terms and even her family members were reviled in the same way. So thorough was this character assassination that even though many wanted Sarah to run for president in the 2012 election it was not possible. Even those same Republican leaders who attacked her in the 2008 election were there to make sure she didn't run for president in the 2012 election.

I was hoping to hear some good news that she was not quitting her fight against those who are trying to destroy America and sure enough, I spotted an article written by her for Breitbart News (link) declaring "We have not yet begun to fight" the famous quote of John Paul Jones:

On September 23, 1779, Jones fought one of the bloodiest engagements in naval history.(link) Jones struggled with the 44-gun Royal Navy frigate Serapis, and although his own vessel was burning and sinking, Jones would not accept the British demand for surrender, replying, “I have not yet begun to fight.” More than three hours later, Serapis surrendered and Jones took command.

This statement of Sarah Palin's could not be more appropriate. She, like Jones has been hammered mercilessly, unjustly to a point where, were she to give up, no one could blame her; but also like Jones she will not give up; she will do everything to save her nation, America, just as Jones fought tooth and nail even though his ship had been pummeled by Serapis and was near sinking - he eventually won against all odds!.

Go get 'em girl!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Forgotten Child

Woman was made for love.   The first woman was created by God to be a helper for the first man God created. Through the ages one woman and one man would unite as one through the union created by God we now call marriage. The very being of a woman was to help her husband in accomplishing his tasks of providing a home, food and the necessary provisions for making their lives together fruitful. She accomplished this through a deep-seated love that is the very nature of a woman.  When a child was born to them, the woman nurtured and looked after their child with a special love that only a woman can provide. She would protect her child with every fiber of her being. The husband would provide the overall safety for his family with a devotion and commitment that is part of a man's nature.

Such a family as described above is in conformity with God's plan. But through time men and women demonstrated their frailties and always following God's plan became difficult. Such was the condition of weakness men and women inherited from the disobedience to God of their original parents. But with God's promised help and assistance through His grace many married couples were able to raise families that benefited from the wife and the husband carrying out their natural inclinations of love instilled by the Creator.

However, the history of mankind is replete with instances of disobedience of men and women refusing to adhere to the natural love instincts instilled in them. One of the most abhorrent failings in both men and women is to not provide the love that is needed to bring a child given them by God to full maturity and personhood. There are many reasons given for the very destruction of a child by a husband and wife through abortion or infanticide.

In ancient civilizations, if parents did not want a newborn child, particularly a female child,  the child would be left out in the open on some abandoned spot, with no clothing, no care and no sustenance, with the intention of allowing the child to die through exposure.  This kind of infanticide, by first allowing the child to come to full term in the womb of the mother, was chosen so that sex selection could be used to save or dispose of the child.  Terminating the life of the child in the womb, or abortion, was certainly used but was undoubtedly so crude that the risk to the life of the mother had to be considered.

In our modern times of the late 20th and early 21st centuries infanticide is rare in comparison to abortion because of the various techniques used to terminate the life of the child in the womb with little risk to the life of the mother.  So abortion, all over the world, is relatively common. In the last 40 years, more than 55 million abortions have taken place in the United States.

Abortion is evil because it terminates the life of a child within the womb any time during the 9 months of pregnancy of a woman.  Among evils in this world it stands as the number one evil because of the taking of the child's life through the absolute disregard for the natural inclination of a woman to love and nurture her child. The child becomes a forgotten child and the consequences to not only the woman, the abortionist and the man who fathered the child, but to the whole of society is grievous;  although these consequences are largely not recognized, acknowledged nor discussed.

It is my intention, in future posts, to endeavor to foster a discussion about this evil without judging those persons involved in the process of abortion.  There are many aspects of the abortion problem that need to be open to discussion before better understanding can lead to a remedy of this serious societal tragedy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Some Thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr Day

Yesterday, January 21, 2013, was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday. At the same time it was also the day scheduled for the second inaugural of president Obama, the first black president. The inaugural overshadowed the celebration of the life and ideals of Martin Luther King Jr.  In spite of similarities professed at the inaugural between the goals of President Obama and those of Martin Luther King, there could not be a greater difference, not only in their goals, but also in the character and ideals of these two men.

Martin Luther King loved America and its Constitution. But in spite of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation one hundred years before, the former Negro slaves and their descendants had not been allowed full enjoyment of their rights guaranteed by the Constitution. King realized that his people needed to work hard to bring the black man into American society as a full citizen with all the rights and benefits guaranteed by the Constitution.  In addition King realized that black people must rise up and demand their rightful share in the blessings of America, but as he made clear in his famous “I have a dream” speech given in front of the Lincoln Memorial, August 1963, he did not advocate violence and he did not advocate the destruction of American institutions and Ideals.

President Barack Obama, on the other hand, made it very clear in his campaign of 2008 for the presidency that he intended to transform America into something different. Fundamental “change” of America was called for.  He had spent many years as an active member of a church whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright, had once stated during a sermon that he would not say “God bless America” but rather “God damn America”. This pastor preached that the problems of racial discrimination in America were the fault of its institutions and principles, so that racial inequality could only be brought about by fundamentally changing America.

These ideas influenced President Obama to believe in the necessity of fundamentally changing America. John Dickerson, CBS political director, wrote a scathing article yesterday encouraging president Obama to "go for the throat" and destroy the Republican Party as the only way to bring about the fundamental changes president Obama espouses. The president, in his second inaugural speech, failed to mention the need for job creation to put back to work millions of jobless. He has other things in mind. Many believe that it is his goal to change America into a socialist or Marxist state.

Take a look at the video below to see that Martin Luther King Jr. had ideals necessary to bring black people into American society, but in the 50 years following Martin Luther King's famous speech, the Democratic Party has prepared the way for president Obama to implement his plan to create an all powerful government in which no longer will the American people have God-given rights safeguarded by the Constitution; instead they will be given rights by an all-powerful government to ensure their compliance at the cost of individual freedom and opportunity.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

40th Aniversary Celebrated in this Ad.

This ad has created a firestorm on both sides of the issue.  But apparently this ia the attitude of many who are promoting this "freedom".  The president may not share the manner in which this ad deals with this issue but he has certainly made it clear that he supports this "freedom" in all cases.  How sad!

Monday, January 14, 2013

More Food for Thought - The "Good News"

Following up on my latest post examining the spreading of the Good News by St. Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, let us see what impact his words have on the people of the present day in the 21st century. The apostle Paul taught, to the people of his day that due to the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross, they were all one people; no more separated as Jew and Gentile.

That fact is true today just as it was in Paul’s time, since Jesus Christ died on the cross for the salvation of all people, through all time, that is, from the very beginning of time until the end of time.  In the days of Paul, the Gentiles were all people who were non-Jews. The Jews of Paul’s time were those people who were descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with whom God had made a number of covenants or promises regarding the destiny of their descendants.  The Jews had a belief in a caring God and a hope for the fulfillment of God’s promises.

God had revealed to Paul that from the time of His creation of man and woman and their subsequent fall, that He, God, had a secret plan: It was to be through the Jewish people alone, God’s Chosen people, that all the prophesies of a Savior of the world and the actual appearance of the Savior, Jesus Christ, would come.  This meant that God did not reveal his plan to any other people up to the time of Christ so that all the Gentiles had been in the dark about this plan of salvation until Christ revealed it to them through the Apostles after His death and Resurrection. 

This was the “Good News” that the Gentiles now could share with the Jews; no longer were the Gentiles in the dark.  They were given the Good News of the “Gospel of Christ”.  The Gospel consists of all the writings in the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments and some Tradition that has been passed down to us since the time of Christ.

The Gentiles, or all the people of the earth, besides the Jews, had lived without any real hope of what their destiny was to be.  When these people now heard the Good News they were ecstatic; now they had hope that through the wonderful gifts given them by the sacrifice of Christ, they could live in peace and look forward to an eternal existence in Heaven with a loving God.

This Good News has been passed down to all of us.  No matter who we are we should make an effort to read the Bible if for no other reason except to enjoy the beautiful stories of Love, Forgiveness, and especially Mercy.

There should be no divisions of race. Today however there are unbelievable accusations of racism; God created all the different races and he loves people no matter what their race. There are those today who wish to divide people according to intelligence, education, social position, political party, financial status whether poor or rich.  All of these divisions are promoted by tyrants who do not believe in God and do not believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of all people no matter what differences they have, which tyrants think should cause them to be divided.

The only way to fight this divisiveness is to appreciate what God has done for us no matter who we are and what we have done, good or bad. Let not those who think there is no God, or that God could not possibly love them because of what they are and what they have done, despair;  Scripture shows how Jesus Christ loved the down-trodden, the despairing, the sinners of His time. He did not spend His time with the well to do but with prostitutes, taxpayers and other sinners because they needed His love and healing. 

Read how Jesus especially cared about women who at that time were treated as second class people. God loves each and every one of us right now, at this moment, no matter what state we think we are in, that might turn God away from us. He wants all men and women to be saved, that is, to be with him in heaven for all eternity; all we need to do is call upon his name, Jesus, for His help and He will help us to love instead of hate, to forgive instead of condemn, to be at peace and not at war with ourselves.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Food for Thought #6 The apostle of the Gentiles

After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He appeared to his apostles and many disciples encouraging them to spread the Good News of the Gospel to all people. Having assured them of his presence with them in the sacrament of the Eucharist, he instructed them to wait for his sending the Holy Spirit who would inflame them with the graces necessary to perform their task.  After Jesus returned to His Father in heaven, the apostles waited in a closed room for the moment of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

On Pentecost the disciples in the room heard a loud noise like a strong wind; on the heads of the disciples, tongues of fire spread among all the people in the room as they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.  They received the gift of tongues and as a crowd had formed outside because of the noise, the crowd heard their own languages from the lips of the disciples.  The apostle, Peter, explained to the crowd of Jews how Jesus, crucified, died for their sins and then rose to life.  There were several thousand converts from the crowd who were baptized as followers of The Lord Jesus.

The apostles started preaching in and around Jerusalem and in the Temple.  But the Jewish leaders who had been responsible for stirring up a mob to demand that the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate give over Jesus to be crucified, became jealous of the apostles for  making so many converts so, they started persecuting the disciples of Jesus.  One of the leaders by the name of Saul went on a mission to Damascus to round up Christians and bring them back to Jerusalem for trial. 

On the way to Damascus Saul was knocked off his horse by a bright light and a loud voice asked, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?”  “Who are you Lord?”, asked Saul.  “I am Jesus of Nazareth Whom you persecute!  But go into Damascus and you will be told what to do”.  For 3 days Saul, blinded by the light, waited, praying.  The Lord sent a believer to Saul who baptized him; immediately he regained his sight.  Saul started teaching in the synagogue that Jesus was the Son of God.  The Jews there were amazed but the leaders threatened to kill Saul.  With help from the believers he escaped to Jerusalem where he joined the Apostles after a disciple, who knew of Saul’s conversion, convinced the Apostles of Saul’s trustworthiness.  His life was threatened again in Jerusalem, so his friends sent him to the island of Tarsus where he spent time being instructed about his mission of Apostleship through the grace of God.

In the meantime, the apostle Peter, whom Christ had appointed head of His church on earth, had a vision about not calling certain foods unclean which was a custom of the Jews.  After the vision Peter was invited to visit a man called Cornelius in Caesarea who was a captain in the Roman army; he was a religious man and his whole family worshipped God.  Cornelius did much to help the poor Jewish people and he was devoted to prayer to the Lord Jesus.  When Peter arrived, he was met by a whole community of Cornelius’s family and friends who were all Gentiles. 

Peter spoke to them saying that Jews, by their beliefs were not supposed to associate with non−Jews but now he realized that, through the vision he had experienced, God was saying Gentiles were acceptable to Him; just as Peter was speaking, tongues of fire settled upon each of the Gentiles.  Peter then knew that the Lord wanted Gentiles as well as Jews baptized as members of His Church since the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles.  After baptizing all those with Cornelius, Peter returned to Jerusalem and reported to the disciples that God’s command was that all people, Jews and Gentiles alike, were to be treated as God’s people and baptized.

After some time Saul, now renamed Paul, traveled throughout the Roman empire teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He would always go to synagogues first and convert many Jews to the new Christian belief but many Jewish leaders did not accept Paul’s teaching so he made a point of saying he would go to the Gentiles; Paul then established thriving communities of believers among non-Jews.  He then would write letters (called epistles) to these communities.  In all of these epistles we see the great love Paul has for Jesus Christ and what He, through His sacrifice on the cross, has done for all people.  In his epistle to the Ephesians, a people of the city of Ephesus in what is now modern Turkey, Paul makes it clear that we are all one people in Christ Jesus:

“ For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them [apart]…….. It is through Christ that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come with one Spirit into the presence of the father.”

Paul has been given the title of the Apostle of the Gentiles.

Thus, regardless of the separate beliefs and faiths of all human beings, we are all one people because of the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross, Who gave His life for the salvation of every single person born since Adam and Eve and all persons yet to be; all that is required is to love Jesus when they know of Him or love God in everything He has done for those who might not know or, in ignorance, might not accept Jesus.  

Let no person who claims to be a follower of Christ display hatred for Jews, Moslems, Buddhists,….. or any others who believe in God and love Him in a different way.  Those who are terrorists and do hateful things to innocent people and say they do these things in the name of God are to be judged as God knows their hearts.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Food for Thought #5 - The Redeemer

It is the time when Rome is master of the world. Caesar Augustus is the Emperor of Rome. Palestine is under the rule of Rome.  Herod is the King of Judea. The Jews are awaiting the Messiah, but many are waiting for an earthly king who will free them from the their enemies, the Romans.  But many Jews of deep faith in God expect much more than only an earthly king.

There is a young Jewish girl by the name of Mary who has dedicated her life to doing what God desires of her; she prays constantly. One day the Angel Gabriel appears to her and announces she is to become the mother of a child to be named Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the most high God. He will be the King of the descendents of Jacob forever.

Because Mary has offered herself to God completely as a virgin, Gabriel tells her that through the Holy Spirit she will become pregnant so that the child will be called the Son of God.  Mary responds "I am the Lord's servant; let it happen to me as you have said."

God has prepared everything for this moment.  He has seen from all eternity that Mary would be a perfect human being and would do everything God desired.  She is the "new Eve" who would do what Eve did not do.  In preparation, when Mary had been conceived in her mother's womb, God gave her the beautiful gifts originally given Eve before her fall, so that Mary was conceived without the effects of original sin.  Mary has thus been given the title "The Immaculate Conception".

The child Jesus is the Son of God and is therefore the Divine Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity Of God.  But He is also perfectly Human, being born of a human mother.  He has the dual nature:  Divine and Human.  He is then the only Human who has the status to recover for all human beings what was originally lost.  Why?  Because He is both human and Divine and can therefore make amends for the original disobedience of Adam and Eve agaInst God who is Divine and they only human.

But the sacrifice to make amends to God must be both human and divine.  Human sacrifice to God through all of Scripture always involved the killing of an animal, best of all a lamb.  The spilling of the blood of the lamb was the offering of the very life or blood of the lamb.  Therefore the sacrifice must be Divine through the obedience of the Son to lay upon Himself all the requirements of His Father and must be human, involving the killing and offering of the life blood of the Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Christ of God and the lamb of God. He is to be offered to God the Father in atonement for all the sins of human beings.  Jesus Christ is also the "new Adam" who brings to perfection God's plan for human beings.

After Jesus grows to manhood he devotes 3 years of his ministry on earth to establish his Church and to announce the fulfilling of the old law in that Church. He also makes it clear to his followers, and those who love him, that he will always be with them until the end of time. The new sacrament he institutes, the Eucharist, is a commemoration both of the last supper, during which Jesus transforms bread into the flesh of his body and transforms wine into his blood while keeping the physical appearances of bread and wine, and the actual sacrifice on the cross.

Thus when His body and blood are, under the appearances of bread and wine, consumed by a Christian believer, the recipient receives the body and blood of Christ and shares in the sacrifices of the Lamb in a way that makes Christ and his sacrifice for all our sins present in time at the moment of reception.  It reminds us also that for all time and for all people Jesus has made amends for all our sins and all we need to do is follow His Way, pick up our cross, and forget ourselves (meaning letting go of our selfish concerns and dedicating ourselves to God and our neighbors in need).

The mission of Jesus Christ then becomes one of preparing his followers to understand why he must suffer crucifixion and die on a cross, spilling all His blood.  After his death bountiful graces are given those who have given everything up to follow Him. They spread over all of the world of the time and preach His message of reliance on God and trust in Him rather than relying on our own efforts.  He asks us to spread the "Good News" and to help others who are in need.  Jesus makes it clear to all of us who believe in him when he says “without me you can do nothing”.

On a Friday, after Jesus dies on a cross, spilling all His blood, His followers see Him buried in a cave.  The women, including His mother Mary, who followed Jesus and saw Him laid in the cave want to prepare His body with spices and perfumes but it is too late in the evening and the next day, Saturday, is the Sabbath on which they may not do their preparations, so they arrive early Sunday to find the tomb empty and are told by angels that Jesus has been raised from death.  The women are stunned and inform the Apostles to whom later Jesus appears in flesh and blood a number of times before He ascends to Heaven. 

The Resurrection of Jesus is proof that He is truly God who died on the cross to win back our status with God as people who have been given a second chance to do what God wants us to do and to eventually see Him face to face in Heaven.  Even if we sin by not doing what God wants us to do, by repenting we then are restored to God's favor and we retain this status once lost. This is so because Jesus Christ died to restore all men and all women through all time to their original status in spite of any and all sins committed against God.  All that is needed is Repentance.

Just one more Food for Thought #6 The apostle of the Gentiles

Friday, January 4, 2013

Food for Thought #4 Redemption - Part 2

There are many people today who do not believe in the intercession of God in the affairs of human beings. On the other hand there are people who presume that God intercedes in almost every aspect of their daily lives; they say and believe that God directs them to go to this place to do these things and one has to wonder about the authenticity of these claims.  In fact God does intercede, as He does numerous times in Genesis.

But the knowledge of such intercessions is made known only to those who have a deep faith and trust in God such as Abraham.  God does not show Himself directly (face to Face) but through strangers who are representatives of God or his angels, or as voices or sounds from nearby; or in dreams or visions.  Scripture affirms that no person has ever seen God face to face; this is left as an after-death experience.

God does not interfere with our free will, but he may direct or guide us through His gift of Grace to motivate us to follow His plan for us; but we are free to follow His direction or not.  Whether we respond favorably to His Grace or not is still in His plan, that is, we cannot defeat His plan.  God is with His human beings at all times, always responding to our prayers in His way that benefits us the most, keeping us in our very existence, continually guiding us through His grace and allowing us to exercise our free will; although God may prevent a person from willing to do something extraordinarily evil through some event that makes it impossible for the person to act - for example, allowing the death of the person.

We continue to see the story of His loving interaction with His people in Scripture.  The book of Exodus follows Genesis and recounts all the events of God rescuing the Jews from slavery in Egypt.   Moses is the central character and is directed by God to save his people after being rescued from the tyranny of Pharaoh who orders all the newborn boy babies of the Jews to be killed in order to reduce the great number of Jews whom pharaoh fears.

His mother puts the baby Moses in a basket to float down the river until the baby is picked up by a Princess of Pharaoh who adopts him as her son. When Moses grows to a young man with high status in Pharaoh's court he makes a visit to his fellow Jews who are being used as slaves building the edifices of the Pharaoh. He kills an Egyptian soldier who killed one of the Jewish laborers and in fear for his life flees Egypt to Midian.  Moses stays a long time away from Egypt until God calls him from a burning bush to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the Jews.

When Moses goes to Pharaoh, Pharaoh refuses to let the Jews leave Egypt. Therefore God, working through Moses, allows a number of pestilences to influence Pharaoh. One of the pestilences involved God's Angels being sent to kill the firstborn of the Egyptians including pharaoh's son while sparing the Jews who painted their dwellings with the blood of a lamb as a sign to the avenging angels to pass over the homes of the Jews.  Ever since the angels' passing over the houses of the Jews, which had been marked with the blood of a lamb, this event has been commemorated as the feast of the Passover of the Jews.

Pharaoh had finally had enough and allowed Moses to take the Jews out of Egypt.  Moses, through a miraculous gift from God, parts the waters of the Red Sea to allow the Jews to cross. Pharaoh in the meantime had regretted letting the Jews leave so he, with his army, chased the Jews but were killed when trying to cross the Red Sea as the waters returned to their original state.

On Mount Sanai God gave Moses a stone tablet on which were written ten Commandments. When Moses returned to the Israelite camp he saw them making and worshiping gold idols. In disgust Moses broke the tablet.  He told the Israelites about the tablets and the commandments written by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and now they were worshiping false gods of Egypt.  He returned to Sanai and was given another tablet.  Moses had to struggle with his people to get them to understand their history as God's people. 

Over years of wandering of the Jews in the desert, Moses establishes the framework of the laws that the Jews are to live by.  After the original generation of the Jews who had escaped from Egypt were deceased, and new generations who never experienced the false religions of the Egyptians, they were now ready to make their way to a "land of milk and honey" promised them by their Lord God.

After the death of Moses, a new leader Joshua, leads the Israelites into the promised land and conquerors the people, with the Lord's help, who occupied the promised land. Through time God gave them special leaders called judges but the people wanted a king so God gave them Saul as their first king. Saul was a disappointment as a king and God finds a mere shepherd boy named David who becomes a great king of the Israelites. David has left us with many of his psalms in which he shows his great love of God who revealed to David much about a descendent of his who was to be the Savior of his people Israel.

David was followed by many different Kings, some good and some bad, and we are introduced to the age of the prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah who warn the people when they do not live up to what God expects of them, and also prophesy more and more who this descendent of David, who will save his people, will be. The Jews went through many hardships when, after having been warned by the prophets of impending disaster for their wickedness, they were punished by God by being taken into captivity, such as the Babylonian captivity; after turning back to the Lord, the Jews were brought back to Palestine after their captivity.

Through the prophets, God revealed much about the Messiah, the one who is to come who will save God's people. But more and more the Jews are looking for a king who will vanquish their enemies rather than expect the Messiah to be, not a worldly king, but a King of a heavenly kingdom.

Now we enter the time of the Roman occupation of Palestine and we are to learn how the Jewish people reacted to the coming of Jesus Christ. This will be dealt with in Food for Thought #5 - The Redeemer.