Preparation Day

Friday, March 31, 2023
Lomé, Maritime Region, Togo
Pierre came to pick us up for the evening Bible Study around 6:30 pm. We drove to the house of our elder and his family. Guy and Odette are wonderful servants, and they have a house large enough that it can host our services. We greeted each other warmly and Marjolaine and I marveled about how the young ones have grown. Some who are 18 and older now, we bounced on our knees years ago. One young woman we knew as a child is about to become a medical doctor. Life!
I gave the Bible Study on four commitments to renew before the Passover. Afterwards I took questions. One was about the names of God, based on the presentation of lesson 3 of our Bible Study course. The congregation is going through them a section at a time. The question concerned Psalm 110:1 where in English it says “the Lord said unto my Lord” referring to God the Father and the Word. The Bible course says “Lord” is applied to Jesus. Actually the French version we use makes this clearer because it says the “Eternal” said to my “Lord”. Which, I explained, in Hebrew is “YHVH said to my Adonai.
Other questions included “If Jesus is God and Eternal, was He conscious during the three days and three nights in the grave?” I explained about Occam’s razor, the philosophical principle that “plurality should not be posited without necessity” that is to say, take the simplest explanation possible. If the simplest understanding is not possible, search further. The Bible says “the Word became flesh”, not partly or halfway, He became flesh. So, the simplest explanation would be that the fleshly dead are not conscious, it would seem Jesus was not. But I cautioned, we have to be careful when we try to understand how God is. We always run up against the limits of our minds.
Another was about forgiving people before the Passover. “Can you forgive without forgetting and how can you forget a wrong?” I explained that we cannot control our memories the way God can. He says He doesn’t remember our sins when they’ve been forgiven. We may not be able to forget a slight against us, but we can reframe it in such a way that we are not angry or bitter. God says vengeance is His, He will repay. We must trust him. We should also take the long view as God does, remembering our own mistakes and need for forgiveness, and knowing that one day the person will repent.
There were many more. It was an interesting discussion in which the young people actively participated. It’s always interesting in Lomé. They study the Bible and they meditate on it. We spent 90 minutes or so in the study and the Q&A.
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How encouraging it must be to see a young woman about to become a doctor when you remember her as a child. The French version of Psalm 110:1 is helpful in understanding the two Lords. Thanks for including the value of reframing thoughts.

Ted Franek

Thanks so much for sharing ! Rough start with the humidity and the site looks promising. Very good Bible study the brethren are very studious and desire understanding .

Tess Washington

I'm learning too further God's words by reading your travel blog! Thank you! Great to know that even the young ones are interested in learning & understanding God's words!