By Jerry Moses
Assistant to the President at Movieguide
The first verse in the Bible says, “In the beginning God (Elohim, which means ‘mercy’) created the heavens and the earth.”
King David said in Psalm 109:26, “Help me, O Lord my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy.”
So, the beginning of time is the beginning of the mercy of God. The Bible says everything began by the God of mercy creating the heavens and the earth. At the beginning of time, and all through time, we have the mercy of God. Lamentations 3:23 says the Lord’s mercies are “new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.” Praise God. This is one of the absolutes of the Christian life – the faithful mercy of God. There are nights for us all when we hear the voice of Elohim asking us to get out of bed and get on our knees. Prayer brings all the mercy of God to us in a world where Satan is the prince of the power of the air.
But we dwell in the Kingdom of God on this earth through the mercy of God because He is the great “I AM WHO I AM,” as He told Moses in Exodus 3:14 while instructing him to lead the Jewish people out of bondage in Egypt.
‘I AM’ Leads Us Through His Mighty Power
“I AM” is the same to each of us today – leading us through His mighty power. My point is that in all our situations in life we must look to Him for the final say.
The Bible is a history book of the love and mercy of God from the beginning of time until the end of time and on into eternity. So, saddle up your horses and get ready for the great adventure. As a song writer once wrote, “Let your heart, let it make the vow. Now is the time to serve the Lord. This is our day and our time. All of heaven is focused on us. So, make a choice today with me to serve the Lord. Today I choose to follow you. Today I choose to give my yes to you. Today I choose to hear your voice and live.”
So, to get our feet on the ground, we must remember the two primary commandments that Jesus told us that summarize all of the law – to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves, and we have to do this in a world of good and evil.
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
In Genesis, Eve was deceived by the devil, Adam choose to disobey God, both ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and then sin entered the human race. Satan was present, having lived in the heavens and earth of God’s perfect creation, as shown in Genesis 1:1
Isaiah 45:18 says God “did not create (earth) to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.”
Meanwhile, Ezekiel 28:12-19 give us a description of Lucifer who through his fall became Satan. So, the earth that Satan knew, which was perfect, became “void.” “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). Afterward, God reformed everything in six days – day one, light; day two, firmament; day three, earth and seas; day four, sun, moon and stars; day five, fish and fowl; and day six, cattle, creeping things, beasts, and mankind.
Adam and Eve began their lives in a sin-cursed world and had two sons, Cain, and Abel. Cain later killed his brother.
Satan and his demons were in the heavens and on earth on a mission to stop the birth of Jesus Christ which God spoke of after Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God. God said the seed of Eve would crush Satan and Satan would strike His heel. Life went on in an evil world with Satan as the prince of the power of the air and evil dominated the world where every thought of the imagination of man was only evil continually by the time of Noah (Genesis 6:5). The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, the giant offspring of fallen angels with the daughters of men.
Noah’s Ark, Animals, and the Mercy of God
This leads to Noah, through the grace and mercy of God, building an ark because God told him that the earth would be covered with water and only he and his family of eight people and two of every unclean animal and seven of every clean animal, would be saved on the ark. Only eight people were saved but all the animals were saved – male and female. All the seeds of the earth would also grow back after Noah’s Flood. All the fish and creatures of the sea were kept in the sea because no vessel could hold them.
But let’s talk about animals.
Animals are very much involved with man in God’s plan. They are a part of the mercy of God. They are innocent and have God-given instincts. There are questions about the animals that we cannot answer. One thing we do know is God designed an ark for them and for Noah’s family. It was 510 feet long and 85 feet wide and 51 feet tall. It was built to house two of every animal, male and female, on Earth at that time. All the fish and sea creatures were left in the ocean. Otherwise, Noah would have had to build something much bigger than the ark to hold all of them.
Animals show us the mercy of God and are a witness to the surpassing greatness of God. That is why every human on earth must believe in God and are held guilty for not believing in God. You add animals to the sun, moon, stars, and the Earth, and you have an inescapable witness of the Glory of God.
‘My World was Hills, Trees and Animals’
I was raised a country boy in the village of Richburg, New York in the Allegany Mountains. At the time, the population was about 250. My world was hills, trees, and animals. It was the most beautiful, peaceful place, and I loved it. Birds, deer, bear, squirrels, chipmunks, possums, raccoons, porcupines, lighting bugs, night crawlers, muskrats, and minks were always around me. But the dearest animal of all was always with me – my dog Duckey, an English Springer Spaniel, the cutest dog God ever made. He had bright, shining golden hair, long ears, and big eyes. It was a snowy Christmas Day and I had been with him all day. That night my dad put him out in our unfenced yard, he wandered into the street in front of the house and was hit by a vehicle. He ran under a big pine tree afterward.
We went out looking for him, saw him under the tree and found his little lifeless body in the snow. I held him, he was still warm, but he was gone forever. I wept and wept and so did my sister, mom, and dad. We buried him in the woods and planted a tree there. I thought I would never get over it.
But a few years later we got Cindy, a Springer Spaniel, who went with me hunting, swimming, and running through the snow until I went away to college. I always saw her when I came home but moved to California to go to seminary and did not see her afterward. But I have many movies of her with me through the years. What a wonderful friend she was. I went to seminary in San Francisco and later pastored Brisbane Baptist Church. Then I served as the youth and music minister at San Leandro Calvary Baptist Church, got married, and went on to become the youth pastor at Los Altos First Baptist Church for seven years where Joshua, a beautiful male Irish Setter, came into my life and the lives of my daughter Jill, son Jay, and wife Marilee.
He came into our lives one day when Marilee was at the grocery store and he jumped into her car. We tried to find his owner but never did. Later, he ran away. Our little girl, Jill, 5, prayed every night at the dinner table for Joshua to come back, so I decided to try to find him by taking out an advertisement in the newspaper.
I went to see many dogs and even had a man give me a false address. While I was away from home, he called Marilee and said he was going to shoot me if she did not talk dirty to him. I got back to the house in time to rescue her from the monster on the phone. I did finally find Joshua and brought him home. We moved three times with him, but because I did not get a fence built at our third house, he ran away each morning and was taken to the pound where he was put down. My wife came to my office and told me, and I wept.
There was a lesson to be learned here that took me many years to understand. I should have listened to my wife and taken responsibility to get the fence put up. I have him in many of our movies. He was so wonderful, beautiful, and perfect with people and kids. What a great dog!
Walk in the Peace of God
What I have learned in my nearly eight decades of life is that we must humble ourselves, walk in the peace of God, and take the right turn at the crossroads in our lives.
Ephesians 4:30-31 says: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We can change our attitudes and outlook to look through the eyes of Jesus and change the world by humbling ourselves. Can you trust Jesus? Will you surrender to Him and live for Him, touching people with His grace and mercy?
We’ll talk again soon. God loves you very much!
By Jerry Moses
Assistant to the President at Movieguide