Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 12 September 2017

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12, verses 1-2.

These are the same verses from yesterday, but I’ve added in the last sentence in verse 2.   It’s one of the most famous, most quoted verses in the entire Bible.  To get the full effect, you really need the previous words.  “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”   Read that to yourself over and over a few times, and try to let it sink in.

Yesterday we talked about Franklin Graham and his relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse.   Neither Franklin Graham nor anyone in Samaritan’s Purse set aside pure joy to endure pure torture for you or anyone else.   We talked about volunteers and first responders fighting fires and rebuilding after hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes.   None of them ever set aside joy, endured the cross, and sat down at the right hand of God the Father.  Your neighbors haven’t done this.  Barack Obama never did this and can’t; ditto Donald Trump.   Neither can Brad Pitt, the Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, Benny Hinn, Miss America 2017, nor your saintly little old lady grandma.

Jesus did.   He didn’t just do it willingly:   He did it lovingly, fully, without hesitation.   It’s the theme of the entire Bible and the central event in all of human history.   Everything that every is or was or will be hinges on Jesus dying on the cross, then rising to live forever.

The creator of all things, the most powerful being imaginable, who created everything simply by speaking; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (as both Isaiah and Handel called Him):   He, the omnipotent and omniscient God willingly, enthusiastically let sinners He created nail Him to the most humiliating device of torture ever devised in hell.   He did it with gusto.   Jesus not only took the worst mankind could throw at Him:   He ASKED for it.  He ran the race of life fully, to its end, to show us where we were going.

He did so because Barack, Donald, Brad, Francis and the rest of us can’t.   We simply can’t.   We aren’t Him; we aren’t God.  He is.   We desperately needed Him to do it, too.  All too often, we don’t throw off those entangling sins.   Too often, the race seems like too much for us.

Yet there He is in the race, running ahead of us, drawing our gaze, our focus.  He’s in there to pace us, to give us someone to run toward.  He beckons us to persevere, to endure because He endured much tougher things than our day to day lives.   Notice that Jesus doesn’t take us out of the race.   He doesn’t pluck us from the middle of the world, removing us from our sins.  No, Jesus stays with us to give us a reason to push forward.   The reason is Him, sitting as equal with His Father in heaven, beckoning us to persevere, to run the race day by day.  With Him there is peace now and a meaningful forever.  In Him is the victory; in Him is the goal of running the race.   All of human history prepared for His coming, and when He came, all of history after Him was set on a different path.  No empire could prevent His resurrection; no ideology can refute it, deny it, or withstand it.  Every Christmas, memes and cards say “Jesus is the reason for the season.”   That’s true, but don’t bottle that up until the Holidays.   Jesus is the reason you run your race today.   He’s there in every step, not just every December.

Get up and get back in your race.   Your goal is dead ahead.   For the joy set before Him Jesus endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.   He did it so you could run your race.

For further reading:  1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 10:36, Psalm 25:15, Hebrews 2:10, Philippians 2:8-9, Mark 16:19.

Lord, I lift up Your Name to praise You for running my race with me.   Abide with me, push me forward, and help me to finish in Your strength.

 

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Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 9 January 2017

People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.  Hebrews 6, verse 16.

Oaths.   This idea of an oath, of swearing by someone, was brought up in verse 13.   Let’s a few minutes discussing oaths.

Next week, on January 20, Donald Trump will take the same presidential oath as every other president before him did and he will officially be the President of the United States.   That oath is spelled out explicitly in the Constitution; it’s the only oath in the USA that is.  It will be the power of that Constitution that vests into Mr. Trump all responsibility and authority to be the one and only president.   It is the will of the people as expressed through their votes.   Folks in our country can disagree on that fact, but it’s still a fact even when the outcome of the election isn’t what some wanted.   The oath is a symbol of the power vested in the person.  It’s a recitation of a legal, binding contract between the individual and the group offering said oath and its associated benefit.   In this case, that group is the constituents of the United States, the government we empower, and the benefit is the elected individual’s empowerment with the office to which he was elected.   Mr. Trump can be held accountable by his constituents and by the Congress for any abuses he may undertake that violate that oath and the Constitution behind it.   Yet when he takes the oath, he and only he will be the actual and only president.  Not Mr. Obama; not Mrs. Clinton; not anyone named Bush; nobody in the Congress or the media or in the public peanut gallery.

Oaths mean something.

Consider wedding vows.   They’re oaths.   Like the oath of office, they’re a legal, binding commitment between two people, swearing to uphold the boundaries of their marriage so that they might, in fact, be married.   We value marriage as the ultimate expression of devotion and commitment to each other.  In the vows we exchange – the oaths through which we swear – we promise to love, honor, cherish and other things that reflect our belief in that binding contract of matrimony.  The vows reflect the gravity that we believe exists in marriage, and state things we believe are important, qualities and actions we respect regarding the people we hold dearest.

As Rush Limbaugh often says, “words mean things.”   They aren’t light, and we shouldn’t make light of them.   Celebrity marriages are the butt of many jokes because it seems celebrities don’t take those oaths very seriously.   Donald Trump continues to be the butt of many jokes even though he won his office in the same way every other elected president has.   Both married people and presidents (as well as every other office-holder in the country) understand the gravity of the oaths they undertake.  Candidates undergo the electoral process specifically for the opportunity to take that oath.   Engaged couples plan, anticipate, and modify their lives specifically for the opportunity to take that oath and make those vows.  It’s because words mean things.

Words mean things because that’s how God gave them to us.   He gives us the ability to use words in unique ways that add significance and special meaning.  If you swear you’ll do something, you’re making a blanket promise to do something.   It becomes a matter of record that you’re affirming you’ll do that thing…so make sure you do it.   If you ‘swear on your mother’s grave,’ you’re affirming your word against the actual or eventual death of the woman who gave birth to you.   As one who has lost his mom, I’ll say that means something.   If you “swear to God” that X is so, then you’re strongly affirming that X is actually so against the word and existence of the Great I AM.  Better not mess that up.

In fact, we’d better not mess these things up at all.   God takes our words seriously because He considers them to be expressions of what we think and feel.  He gives Himself to us through His Word, which both shares and describes Him.  To Abraham, God made and oath and, because He wanted Abraham to know it was important, He swore by Himself that the promise would be kept.   And it was.   God gives us language so that we can share Him in His world, and so that we can express ourselves with others.  When we want to or need to ensure something is regarded with special gravity, we are given the gift of being able to affirm it with an oath.   Yet we should regard all of our words as important.   We shouldn’t use them unwisely, or lightly, or be flippant with them.   Our guide should be Jesus’ advice in Matthew 5:  “Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no.”   Mean what you say when you say it.   Stick with honesty, and wisdom, and a held tongue.   Words mean things.   Let’s remember that, especially in being ‘married to’ this new administration.

For further reading:   Exodus 22:11, Matthew 4:37

Lord, thank You for oaths.   Thank You for Your teaching on using them, and on how we should speak and act.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 13 December 2016

…and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.  Hebrews 5, verse 9.

What does “made perfect” mean?   Is it referring to Jesus being immaculate of His Father’s Spirit and the woman Mary?   Is it the work-filled nature of His ministry here?   Is it how he endured temptations and trials here to make a perfectly-lived human life?  Does this refer to how He endured the terrible suffering of crucifixion without falling into any kind of sin, even the seemingly irresistible sins of thought?

Answer:   yes.   See, that was easy!

Make no mistake:   Jesus the Christ is eternal.   He has always been and always will be.   Though born of a human here, He was not created before that.   Being God, He simply is, and was, and is to come.   Jesus wasn’t ‘made’ whether it’s made perfect or made anything else.   Yet, for our understanding, we need to consider how He lived that perfect life here and, in doing so, made something that had never been made before.   That perfect life He lived here:   that’s indeed one thing that the author is referring to.

What’s more, that perfect life was made for something else that mattered even more:   perfect salvation.   God used Jesus’ perfect existence as the only way to reconcile a rebellious humanity to Himself.   He required perfection; He required blood of atonement; He required willing sacrifice of everything to His perfect will.   No ‘very good’ person ever had or ever has since; only Jesus could do it.   In willingly submitting to God’s will to atone for all sins, Jesus made perfect salvation for all mankind.

Think about that.   Perfection done for you.  It’s for eternity.   It is for you and me and everyone we know and everyone who has lived.  That perfect salvation was all that’s required for all of us to spend forever with Jesus in communion with Him.   We get to share in His graceful blessing of joy, peace, happiness, and even work all because He did all the work that was necessary in living, in making, a perfectly lived life.   We get to do this here and now, then for eternity later.  Only Jesus could offer Himself perfectly as the exactly perfect sacrifice necessary to do away with the consequence of sin that is eternal death.   Only Jesus did it; only Jesus offers the path to eternity today.   Mohammed doesn’t; Buddha doesn’t; Shintoism doesn’t; the Kardashians don’t.   Neither does Donald Trump, a brand new pickup truck, the Democrat or Republican Party, or Chunky Monkey ice cream.   Only Jesus.

Have you ever made something that is so good that you’re busting your buttons that you’re so pleased with it?   Have you ever felt proud of things you’ve done, or said, or written, or even thought?   Have you ever felt joy at times in your life, or maybe joy with family and friends?   I imagine that’s how God must feel all the time when He considers all Jesus did.   I imagine it’s how He must feel when He welcomes a believer into eternity and sees that redeemed believer through the prism of Jesus.

Jesus was born and ‘made’ human in an unusual way that neither compromised His divinity nor took on human sin.   He spent a life working with His hands, and His heart, building a life that could be used ultimately in service to God.   All through that life, He perfectly resisted the temptations that ensnare the rest of us, knowing that even a tiny thought of sin would ruin God’s plan for perfect atonement.   And He willingly went to die in our place, knowing that, when He had finished the painful trials of agony and torture, God’s wrath would be satisfied and mankind could be at peace with Him.   All of that means “made perfect.”  All we have to do is obey…and believe.

For more reading:   Hebrews 2:10.

Glory to You, my Lord and Savior, for Your perfection, the perfect life You made, and for the perfect love who is You.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 9 November 2016

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.  For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.  Hebrews 4, verses 1-2.

This is going to sound simple, maybe even goofy, but walk with me on it.  When you hear something, when does it become of value to you?  Let’s say you hear a juicy piece of news.  Does your mind immediately begin to process it, figuring out possible meanings and implications?   Of course it does.   And if you learn something new – if your light bulb lights up – do you start to think of ways that new information means something to you, perhaps connecting the dots between it and other things?  And can your mind or your heart continue to process words long after you’ve learned them, long after their first meaning took hold?   You know the answer.

You now understand Hebrews 4, verses 1 and 2.   God’s word goes to work on us as soon as we hear it.   What’s more, it can work in different ways at different times in our lives.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 reiterates what Hebrews 4 says: “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”   Unpack that verse and you’ll find it means a few things.   One (obviously) is that Scripture is the word of God.   Two, it isn’t only a human translation (though men are scribes and interpreters of it).   Three, the word of God can do work, and four, that work happens in those who believe.

But above all, it means that the word of God you heard was something you accepted, as it is, immediately and that it started working on you immediately.  The second you’re baptized you’re identified as one of God’s chosen people.   The second you say your marriage vows you’re married.   So it is with the second you accept and believe God’s Word, whatever part of that Word you hear.   It begins to work on you that very moment, like bleach on a stained cloth, like alcohol scouring out a wound.

Tell me:  if you hear something positive and it begins to work on you immediately, do you think that negative things can do the same?   Of course they can.  This morning, folks like me (who went to bed before election results were final) woke to find out Mr. Trump was the President-Elect.   It takes time to soak in but, whether it’s soaked in or not, the moment his opponent officially conceded, Mr. Trump was indeed the President-Elect.   For many folks, that’s the worst news possible.   It’s incredibly negative, incredibly dangerous to their ideas of self and country.   Yet no matter whether they like it or not, it’s fact and it’s at work.  Be careful that it does not ruin you.

Through it all, whether the news is positive or negative, the meaning is effective now.   God saved You IMMEDIATELY from the moment you professed your faith in Him.   You did nothing to earn it, make it happen, fashion it, make it so.   All that had to be done was done by God and God alone.   All you did was believe yet the instant you did so you gained the benefit of it.   This sets you apart from those who don’t believe, who choose to not believe in Jesus.   Don’t go off thinking that faith in Jesus makes you better than anyone else because it doesn’t.   Faith, like college, makes one a better person but not better than other people.   Indeed, God wants all people to come to the faith in which you believe, especially those who reject Him in word or deed.

So let’s be thankful that God saved us, that He did all that was necessary to save us even when we were living in unbelief.  Let’s hold fast to that faith, insisting that it’s real here and now, today.   Let’s cling to it when things get tough because brother things do get tough!   And let’s live our lives, say our words, do everything that we do right now as a reflection of those words “we believe.”

For more reading:   Hebrews 12:15, 1 Thessalonians 2:13.

Lord Jesus, I believe in You!   Thank You for saving me, for giving me the promise of hope in You in whom I can believe.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 8 November 2016

As has just been said:  “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”  Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.  Hebrews 3, verses 15-19.

Today is Election Day.   Today we, as Americans, will elect either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as president.   We’re voting for the president, for members of Congress, state legislators and governors, local officials, judges and a host of ballot or state constitutional issues.   If you’ve followed politics this year, you may agree:   this election has divided the United States unlike any other in our lifetimes.  Thankfully, it’ll be over today (or soon after if it’s contested) and then the real work of governing and reconciliation will begin.

As we begin that work, perhaps a question, paraphrased from Hebrews, is appropriate:  are our hearts so hard that we cannot enter rest?   Have we become so divided that we can’t come back together and live in peace?   Or at least live in peace disagreeing?  The United States is culturally, economically, politically, ethnically, even racially more divided than at any time since 1860.   That year, the division led to civil war.   Are we that far gone?

I’m reminded of Matthew 19:26.   Jesus has been talking with a rich young man who wanted to puff himself up by chest-bumping the Son of Man.   Instead, Jesus reaches into the man’s heart and levels with him.   “Give up the world and follow me.”   When the young man walks away disillusioned, Jesus remarks, “With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.”

With God as our first focus, all things are possible.   By going first to God in prayer, we can avoid hardening our hearts as we did in our rebellion, in entrenching these divisions.  God held the ancient Israelites accountable for their rebellion against Him.  They wandered in the desert in sight of the Promised Land until those who believed in the rebellion instead of God were dead and buried.   Redemption was possible but so was chastisement.

Centuries before that, God confounded the language of men when men became too arrogant and rebellions at Babel.  It was the first major human endeavor after Noah’s family left the ark.   Rather than building a city in humility and thanksgiving, mankind build a skyscraper to ‘make a name for ourselves.’   Translation:   “(blank) you, God.   We don’t need you anymore.”   Division followed.   God gob-smacked people with dozens of new languages, confusing their ability to communicate and live together (and finish that audacious tower).  What seemed like chastisement was, in reality, a step towards the people’s redemption.   With God all things are possible.

We, as a people, aren’t much different and we shouldn’t expect any different treatment.  This isn’t some consolation if your candidate loses; this isn’t some pablum to reassure you that things will be ok if you have a bitter pill to swallow.   This is hard, aggressive truth.   ALL things are possible with God.  All through the history of the Bible people sought God, glorified Him, fell away from Him, and felt His wrath until they sought Him again.   All through the history of America we have sought God, glorified him, fallen away from Him, and felt His wrath until we have sought Him again.   All through our history, as we have built and succeeded, we’ve walked away from God.   If you don’t see how we, as a people, have walked away from God for decades now, and now we’re suffering accordingly, then you need to open your eyes.   It’s all good times until the good times run out and then we’re left with the bad ones.

And, at the end of those times, we sought God again.  The First and Second Great Awakenings (of the 1600s and 1800s, respectively) were evidence of this cycle.   Some think our nation is on the edge of a third Great Awakening while others think we’re at the start of the end times.   I think nobody knows.  But I also think – and deeply believe – that days like this contentious Election Day are good days to hold onto our original conviction, our faith in Jesus.  It’s a good day to remember that quote from Matthew 19.   It’s a good day to do our civic duty, then remember that, no matter the outcome, with God all things are possible.

For more reading:   Genesis 11, Psalm 95, Numbers 14:2, Numbers 14:29, Psalm 106:26, 1 Corinthians 10:5, Deuteronomy 1:34-25, Psalm 78:22, John 3:36, Matthew 19:26.

Lord God, I believe that You are over all things, that with You all things are possible.   Bless our divided nation, bless our new leaders, and thank You for the privilege of living here.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 3 November 2016

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  Hebrews 3, verse 13.

When is Today?

Ok, let’s not get TOO metaphysical here, but if you think about it, life is lived in one-second increments.   Sure, we can dissect time into even smaller increments.   But for the sake of discussion, let’s agree that one second is as small as we’ll go.  Knowing that, one second ago you were born, and in one second you’ll die.  In fact, one second ago, Adam and Eve were standing buck naked in the Garden admiring a piece of fruit.   And one second from now Jesus will be coming back on the clouds.

There are 60 seconds in one minute, 3,600 seconds in one hour, and there are 86,400 seconds on one day.   Today there will be 86,400 seconds from midnight to midnight, just like there were yesterday and, God-willing, just like there will be tomorrow.  Yet today is all we know, all we have, and we have it one second at a time.   Every person on this planet has that same increment of time, even Donald and Hillary.  Right here, right now is all we know, so that’s live it up!   Yet at risk of being vulgar, let’s do so within a few rules of discretion.

First off, let’s take the advice of the verse and encourage one another.   A friend of mine pastors a church in Carlsbad, CA.   Years ago, he told me that Barnabas, Paul’s companion, was one of his role models because Barnabas focused his ministry on encouraging others.   That’s a wonderful thing.   If you think about it, it’s one of the best of all things.  When we encourage each other, we show faith in each other.   We empathize, we love, we share, we support.   We get to be Jesus for someone who needs Him there and then.   Right now, today, this very second.

Then let’s focus on just now.   Yes, it’s a good thing to mourn and let go of things that mattered to us.   And, yes, it’s a good thing to plan for tomorrow.   But let’s keep our eyes on the fact that it’s this very second today when we’re living.   The people in our lives now are in them for reasons, sometimes transient, sometimes permanent.  But whether it’s the folks beside us in the checkout line, the annoying person in the cube beside you, that spouse who thrives on quality time, or just the face you see in the mirror, focus on living life fully with, for, and about the people God has in our lives right now.   They’re there for a reason.   They need our encouragement, our attention, and each second of our time.   It’s what Jesus would do.  Today.

Finally, let’s do these things being mindful that sin is deceitful.   Sin’s WHOLE purpose is deceit.  From that time, one second ago in Eden, sin has always sought to deceive us by lying to us.   Every sin we choose is a combination of that lie, idolatry, and something else.   That whatever else we’re doing only compounds the deceit.  In a world hardened by the harshness of that deceit, let’s be mindful that whenever we choose deceit we’re choosing to harden ourselves just a little bit more.  Choosing to accept anything other than Jesus puts a shell on the softness of our hearts.   Accepting the lie that something other than Jesus is just as good as Him puts layers on that shell.   And then whatever other action we’re doing in our sins just deepens it.  Right now there’s a better way.

Let’s live life by turning from one sin at a time.   Let’s replace the sin with hearts and eyes on Jesus, focusing on where we are now by seeing through His eyes.  One second at a time today.   Not just yesterday, maybe not tomorrow, but definitely in the here and now of today.  Today is now.

For more reading:   Hebrews 10:24-25, Jeremiah 17:9, Ephesians 4:22.

Lord God, I praise You for today and thank You for another day here on Planet Earth.   Guide and bless me through it.

 

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 26 October 2016

Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.  For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.  Hebrews 3, verse 3-4.

Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence.   But if you want to be truly accurate, Jefferson wrote the draft (borrowing heavily from the philosophy of Locke and Montesquieu) and it was a committee of four people (John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston) who edited the draft and produced the document that the original Founding Fathers all signed.  Yet we give the credit to Jefferson.

“Barack Obama wrote the Affordable Care Act.”   Actually, that’s factually wrong.   He signed it into law, but the law was crafted, with his input, by numerous other members of the Democrat Party.  But we give the credit – and the blame – to President Obama.

Gutzon Borglum carved Mount Rushmore…but it was actually a whole crew of carvers and construction engineers over several years.  Donald Trump built, well, every hotel, casino and building with his name on them…but it was actually thousands of construction workers, designers, managers, and planners all working together (with better hair).  I built a house in Falcon, Colorado in 2002…but actually I did nothing more than purchase a nearly-complete home that someone else had built.

The builder gets more credit than the building itself.   Or those who actually construct the structure.   It’s natural, very typical, that we do this.   You can read for yourself that this goes all the way back to the author of Hebrews.   Practically speaking, it almost assuredly goes back further than that.  It’s natural that we remember Hannibal but don’t know the names of the soldiers, officers, and even other generals who campaigned with him.   It’s natural that we remember the names of famous actors from the silent movie period but the names of lesser actors and extras are lost in obscurity.

The builder has greater honor than the house itself.

My early life experience is military.   I was in the Air Force for 13 years (eleven active, two reserve).   In the military I learned to operate within and be assured by the chain of command.   God is the ultimate commander, living at the top of that chain.   From the lowest protozoa to the complex ‘colonel’ of man, everyone has a place in the chain (whether command or food).   When great battles are fought or lost, history remembers the name of the commander because the commander is responsible for all those below him and all that they do.  That’s another example of the builder being greater than the house itself.

Notice, too, the subtle way the verses confirm that Jesus is God.    Verse 3 says that Jesus is greater than Moses, and then verse 4 equates Jesus with God.   Because He is God.

What’s the purpose?   Even today in the most liberal Jewish practices, Moses is revered as the greatest Jew who ever lived.   Scripture refers to Moses in much the same way.   Three verses from Deuteronomy give Moses’ epitaph:   “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.”  Moses led millions out of oppression.   Moses recorded God’s laws, which are the basis for all western law and civilization.   Moses served as the commander of an army of millions.   Moses stood in front of God personally.

And Jesus is more powerful than Moses.   Jesus is more powerful, more worthy of honor, power, recognition, and glory than the greatest hero of Jewish antiquity.  We remember Moses but not the names of most of the Israelites who lived in his day.   How much more so should we and do we remember Jesus, who is greater than Moses, who built ‘the house’ in which Moses and the rest of the world lived?

For more reading:   Deuteronomy 34:10-12.

Lord, You are worthy of all praise, glory, love, and adoration.   You are over everything.