Thursday, February 16, 2017
During my life I’ve stayed at numerous hotels, motels and inns; and as a result I was programmed to expect to see a Gideons Bible somewhere, usually a drawer. I didn’t read the Gideons Bible often, because I was just too busy doing whatever; but the Bible was always there.
A Gideons Bible plays a prominent role throughout my book series.
Gideon appears in the Old Testament (Tanach) in the Book of Judges and is described as a judge of the Hebrews, about 2,600 years ago. The name means “mighty warrior” and “feller of trees.”
According to the story, after Deborah’s victory over the Canaanites, Israel had forty years of peace. The descendants of the Canaanites are still causing havoc for Israel. Today many of the descendants of Canaan are called ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas; and they are still as brutal as they were way back then. There was a reason God instructed the Israelites to kill the women and the children, even the animals:
However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them-the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites-as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 20: 16-18 NIV
Unfortunately, Israel did what Israel has always seemed to do and began to turn away from Yahweh. They began to worship the idols of the –ites they had defeated at the instruction of God.
One doesn’t have to go past the First Commandment to find what God thinks of such practices, and in the second He specifically says He is a jealous God.
Commandment #1: Exodus 20:3
“You shall have no other gods before me.”
Commandment #2: Exodus 20: 4-6
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Because of Israel’s failure to follow God, they suffered at the hands of invaders until God finally picked Gideon to lead the Hebrews as their judge and back to God who rescued them from Egypt.
In 1899, Gideons International was born, thanks to three men: Samuel E. Hill, John H. Nicholson and William Knights. The primary purpose was to give away free Bibles, and their plan was highly successful. Now, Gideon Bibles are distributed in 194 countries and in 93 different languages. The Bibles are given to hotels, motels, nursing homes, hospitals and to the military.
But alas, in our new world of hope, change and anything goes except God, Gideon has come under attack. Now the military can no longer distribute the free Bibles because of various lawsuits by those who believe God as described in the Bible is mythology. Because of the huge backlash by people who believe otherwise-that would be about 85% of the nation- the Navy has temporarily lifted the ban.
All over the country, and the world, Gideons Bibles are being banned from hotels by groups (small groups) of unbelievers who want to help the rest of us make the right choice by not reading such literature free of charge. They claim separation of church-state or some such nonsense; and we hardly lodge a protest. That’s how the 5% control the 95%.
I have a friend, a fellow Civitan member, who is also a Gideon. Here is what he is doing for me, free of charge. Because of Facebook, I correspond with many people and groups from all over the world. One such group is Consuming Fire Ministries in Pakistan, a dangerous place to be teaching Christianity. A few months ago, Ariela John asked me if I would be willing to send her a Bible in the Urdu language of Pakistan. I did an Amazon search and found such Bibles readily available; but then I remembered Jack, my Gideon friend.
Now, a couple of months later, the paperwork is in to send many Bibles in Urdu, possibly 500, to this ministry. I hope this happens, because I am sure Consuming Fire Ministries will not ban them.
If you haven’t researched Gideons International, I would encourage you to do so. There’s no telling how many people have learned about God because of them, in spite of the 5% that find God offensive.
As for me, from now on when I book a hotel room I will ask if they have Gideons Bibles in the room. If not, I will stay elsewhere. As for the 5% who file lawsuits to save us from God, get a life- and a Gideons Bible. The truth will set you free.
Originally Written: September 11, 2014
About J.L. Robb
Last week: Life Discovered on Mars
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