TITLE: A Symphony of Miracles Chapter 20 Roots 3/16/14
By Richard McCaw
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“The root of the righteous cannot be moved” and “The root of the righteous yields fruit!” Proverbs 12:3, 12
Roots provide a balanced, stable existence. A good foundation, like a solid root structure, permits and encourages steady, safe growth. Skyscrapers, trees, and even the smallest plants have them. With no roots, a tree would fall over with the very first wind. The first rain would wash away a flower that has no roots. A skyscraper would collapse without a suitable foundation.
To kill a tree, sever its roots. The principle of roots is foundational. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian writer and philosopher and writer once stated, "To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots."
Best-selling novelist, Alex Haley, author of the book, “Roots,” chronicles the progress of his own family across many generations, from the kidnapping of an African warrior by American slave traders to eventual post-Civil War freedom. His book eventually became an award-winning six-part historical epic and was one of the first examples of the miniseries format, and one of the highest-rated television programs in broadcasting history.
The gift of life links us to our ancestors, so, from the beginning of time people have always sensed a need to belong. Long lists of genealogy may be found in the Bible, because people felt it was significant to be able to trace their lineage to Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, and so on. Discovering our roots helps us to understand who we really are and why we exist.
However, some people put their trust in their connection to their famous spiritual ancestors and imagine that they can escape the personal responsibility of living righteously before Almighty God.
That was the case when John the Baptist came preaching some tough messages in the Judean desert. Many people from Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins. He must have seemed odd to his critics, for he was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and had been feeding on locusts and wild honey.
He boldly proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
When Pharisees and Sadducees came to his baptism, he fired at them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire!”
Wow! This brother would not be liked in many of our so-called churches today. Some might say, “He’s too negative! He’s going to frighten the people away! He’s not user-friendly!” but he was preaching the truth, and the truth hurts.
John was dealing with the roots of their faith, and their relationship to the Infinite God of the universe. Indeed, we must examine those roots, and those of our family structure, in order to determine from where we have come and where we are going. But another factor desperately needs our attention: sins and curses that have passed down from one generation to another.
Consider the problem of lying in Abraham’s family. Abraham lied about Sarah to Abimelech. Then Isaac lied to the men in Gerar about Rebecca. Then Jacob lied to his father Isaac. Then Jacob’s sons lied to him concerning their brother, Joseph.
It may be observed that certain families have certain besetting sins and/or diseases that follow them from generation to generation. The following information was gleaned from the internet and may be compared to other sites that differ in some respects with regard to actual numbers of descendants and their backgrounds recorded. Nevertheless, a great truth stands out.
In the 1700’s the state of New York employed a social worker to research the history of two households. Max Jukes was the first case study. He was a liar, thief, and a drunkard, and his wife was much the same. They had 1026 descendants: 300 died prematurely, 150 became known criminals, 100 spent an average of 13 years in prison, 17 became convicted murderers, 60 were public prostitutes, 100 became drunks, 310 died in absolute poverty and cost New York millions of dollars.
At the same time in the same area, another man, Jonathan Edwards, grew up. He was a preacher and he and his wife honored the Lord. They had 1029 descendants: 300 became preachers, 65 college professors, 13 university presidents, 60 authored books, 30 became judges, 295 became college graduates, 3 became United States Congressmen, 80 served the state as public officials, 75 became Navy and Army officers, 60 became physicians, 100 became lawyers, and 1 became a United States Vice-President. His name: Aaron Burr.
In every area of life, the search for roots will inevitably yield not only interesting surprises, but clues that often can save our lives. Unfortunately, that has not always been so in the field of western medicine, which has always stressed an examination of physical symptoms, instead of searching for the root causes of our illnesses.
As you sit before your doctor, before he examines all your vital signs, he will ask, “And what symptoms have you been observing recently?”
You may say, “I’m not sleeping so well at nights, doctor!” or “I’ve been having pains in my fingers.”
Before you leave, he will prescribe medications based on the symptoms you have mentioned. Whether in search for spiritual, emotional,or physical health, our search must always be for roots.
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