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Appreciative Understanding

Ants and Aphids.  Two completely different insects, yet they enjoy a relationship that brings forth a beautiful example of God’s wonderful design.  The aphid is a defenseless insect with many known enemies and threats.  Ants are industrious and purposeful and live out a quite intelligent life.  So much so, ants of the “dairying” variety will protect and support a healthy population of aphids instead of destroying them in their helpless condition.  The aphid, in return, will exude an excess of “honey dew” from the saps it sucks from plants, and in gratefulness for what the ants do and who they are, they allow the ants to consume the honey dew from off their body. (Pause for Thought:  “Blessed are those who have LEARNED to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.  They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.”—Psalm 89:15-16.  What divine design of God’s have you witnessed that makes you want to enthusiastically and publicly worship Him?  How often do you point out God’s design for your family/children, so they can celebrate in worship?)
 
We have no further to go, in God’s Word, than a few pages before we encounter one who showed his appreciation in understanding God’s divine design for redemption.  Abel gave God the perfect first-fruit of his flock of sheep as a blood sacrifice of gratefulness.  He had heard of God’s provision of a slain animal to cover the emotional and spiritual condition of nakedness, separation, and exposure of his parents after they sinned in the Garden.  Adam and Eve attempted to cover their sin with leaves, but God in His purpose-filled design, shed the blood of an animal to atone for their sin, and give them clothes.  Abel was grateful for this and demonstrated his appreciation in worshipful understanding.  He knew the truth of God’s design and acknowledged it to God.  (Pause for Thought:  “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness—Hebrews 9:22.  “God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”—John 4:24.  What kind of items do you have around your house illustrating God’s divine design and intention for His creation-i.e. books, music, art, food, clothes, etc.  How often do you point these out to your family and children as a way of appreciating God’s design and teaching them to understand, so they can live up to God’s intention?  Will you do so this week?)
 

I have encountered people who suppose God must look and consider them in the same they look and consider ants.  I’m not sure how they can rate people as high as ants.  I wonder if that is why Cain’s story turned out the way it did.  Cain never understood or accepted the Divine design.  He repeated the mistake his parents made in trying to cover his sins, and maybe the sins of the world at the time (see Genesis 3:15), with his own efforts from what came from the ground.  I imagine Adam, Eve, and Abel tried to explain God’s design of care and provision and imitate it for him, but with the bitterness of an ungrateful heart, Cain lacked a worshipful spirit, and he continued in the iniquity of his ways.  We need to consider and be the aphid.  (Pause for Thought:  “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice:  ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb’.”—Revelation 8:13.  What do you need saved from in your life right now?  How does/will your rescue fit into the Divine Design?  How will you show your appreciation for your place and being within God’s design?)