Death and life are in the power of the tongue [Proverbs 18:21a].
Faith convinces us that God created the world through his spoken word [Hebrews 11:3 GWT].
God created our world by His spoken word.
We know that when He got done He saw it was very good [Genesis 1:31]!
What happened after that was man,
through his own willful choices,
introduced the opposite of what God made and declared.
God is so good – He causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall on both the evil and good, the just and the unjust [MT 5:45]. The context of this statement is God’s love, which Jesus was teaching His disciples how to recognize.
Have you ever thought that it is quite possible that a lack of rain is a result of false prophets – people who represent God but do not have His heart – speaking curses on people and regions? A lack of rain is not just bad because it creates a lack of water. It also creates an overabundance of heat. The end result is a desert [barren, abandoned] land.
I believe it is time for the true prophets of God to begin releasing God’s love and goodness into people and regions so that His blessing of a balance between sunshine and rain will be felt by everyone. When this begins to happen we will actually begin to see the deserts bloom.
There is an account in Luke’s Gospel, chapter 9, that really brings into view the difference between God’s heart and men’s hearts that have not yet been transformed by God’s heart..
New King James Bible
51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”And they went to another village.
~~~ Look at some other translations and how they interpret this confrontation
between Jesus and two very important members of His team ~~~~
The MESSAGE Bible
51When it came close to the time for his Ascension, he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem. 52He sent messengers on ahead. They came to a Samaritan village to make arrangements for his hospitality. 53But when the Samaritans learned that his destination was Jerusalem, they refused hospitality. 54When the disciples James and John learned of it, they said, “Master, do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?”
55Jesus turned on them: “Of course not!” 56And they traveled on to another village.
New Life Bible
51It was about time for Jesus to be taken up into heaven. He turned toward Jerusalem and was sure that nothing would stop Him from going. 52He sent men on ahead of Him. They came to a town in Samaria. There they got things ready for Jesus. 53The people did not want Him there because they knew He was on His way to Jerusalem. 54James and John, His followers, saw this. They said, “Lord, do You want us to speak so fire will come down from heaven and burn them up as Elijah did?” 55Jesus turned and spoke sharp words to them. (*He said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you have. 56The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives. He came to save them from the punishment of sin.” They went on their way to another town.)
Green’s Literal Translation
51 And it happened in the fulfilling of the days of His taking up, even He set His face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And He sent messengers before His face. And going they went into a village of Samaritans, so as to make ready for Him. 53 And they did not receive Him, because His face was going toward Jerusalem. 54 And seeing, His disciples, James and John, said Lord, do You desire that we tell fire to come down from Heaven, and to destroy them even as Elijah did? 2 K. 1:10-12 55 But turning He rebuked them. And He said, You do not know of what spirit you are. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save. And they went to another village.
Young’s Literal Translation
51 And it came to pass, in the completing of the days of his being taken up, that he fixed his face to go on to Jerusalem, 52 and he sent messengers before his face, and having gone on, they went into a village of Samaritans, to make ready for him, 53 and they did not receive him, because his face was going on to Jerusalem. 54 And his disciples James and John having seen, said, `Sir, wilt thou [that] we may command fire to come down from the heaven, and to consume them, as also Elijah did?’ 55 and having turned, he rebuked them, and said, `Ye have not known of what spirit ye are; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save;’ and they went on to another village.
New Century Version
51When the time was coming near for Jesus to depart, he was determined to go to Jerusalem. 52He sent some men ahead of him, who went into a town in Samaria to make everything ready for him. 53But the people there would not welcome him, because he was set on going to Jerusalem. 54When James and John, followers of Jesus, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy those people?” 55But Jesus turned and scolded them. 56Then they went to another town.
I could go on and on but I think the imagery is very clear. James and John would become pillars in the early Church. John would go on and become known as “the disciple Jesus loved” and apostle of love.
These men and a number too numerous to count of men and women throughout Church history have given there lives to advance God’s love into the darkest and most dangerous of regions. Why? So that God could destroy those people and the region they lived in?
To use The Message Bible’s phrase – “Of course not!”
Father God is a redeemer not a destroyer!
Father God is a lover not an abuser!
And those who are mature are like their Father [Matthew 5:45a, 48]!
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury