Then ADONAI said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats” (Exodus 8:16). Some translations use the word lice, while others use vermin, or maggots, or fleas, or sand flies, or mosquitoes, or gnats. But the Hebrew word kinnim simply means mixture, and refers to a swarm of insects. Not any one particular insect, but swarms of many kinds of insects so small as to be hardly visible to the eye but with a very irritating and painful sting.
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“…and the fish in the river died. The river stank so that the Egyptians could not drink its water, and there was blood throughout the whole land of Egypt…Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened…Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this into account. And all the Egyptians had to dig along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the river.” – Exodus 7:21, 23
Do not hinder them
We were dreamers
Not so long ago
But one by one
We all had to grow up
Whoever wants to be first of all must be last of all and servant of all" (Mark 9:35)
In the Zen tradition, a koan (ko – ahn) is an unsolvable problem. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” is perhaps the most well known. Koan means ‘truth happening place.’ As practitioners meditate on koans, a truth or insight begins to emerge.
“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51: 2
1 Cor. 12:27 – 13:3
“Unless you are like me, I have no need of you.”
Does that belief ever influence how we view others? Do we treat some people with welcoming hospitality, yet reject others with distain, or even fear, because they aren’t like us? Do we reject groups of people who do not share our religious beliefs, race, economic status, or points of view?
Genesis 50: 15
Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?...But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people…”
The story of Jesus feeding the 4,000 (Mark 8: 1-10) is one of my favorite Bible stories, not just because it is about a miracle, but also because it touches on some very important aspects of human nature.