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. . . you’re doing it wrong . . .

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To the One Who Deserves More / the Best / or just plain Better (i.e. Me, and a few others, maybe):

Let me start by saying, I have been married for going on 11 years this coming April.  That’s not an eternity, but it is longer than most celebrity marriages seem to last these days, so I guess there is some sort of accomplishment in this small fact.  We have definitely experienced some of the best parts of life together and have felt like we are on the mountaintops and so happy to be there with each other. However, that is not to say that this has been an easy road, or that as we go along it somehow becomes less of a chore at certain times; like when the mountaintop takes a turn down into the valley.  No, that would be a fallacy.

In fact, not too long ago my husband and I had a heated argument.  For those that have known us, or I should say, “those who have discipled us” … For a while, our relationship could have been classified in the “volatile” category (for years).  And while, this is not the norm anymore, when we do argue, we still argue pretty LOUDLY.  That might be an understatement.  Am I proud of this, no.  Do I advertise it, no.  But, there is something that I want to share with you, and you have to know that about us to understand it.

So, back to the heated argument.  It got LOUD, and quite frankly I’m getting too tired to be as loud as my husband can comfortably get to these days (and err’body said, Thank God).  Anyway, as he was getting louder and acting a fool, my thoughts immediately went to, that comfortable zone of:

I DON’T DESERVE THIS!

I am a Grown woman, and I Don’t Deserve to be talked to (ahem, yelled at) this way (especially, when I am choosing self-righteously not to do it back)!  This is true.  Nobody deserves to be yelled at, except maybe these people, but that’s a different story for a different day.  But, then I went down that dangerous train of thought . . . of how much easier my life would be, if this person wasn’t in it.  Then the question came, which is always inevitable on this rabbit trail:

https://i2.wp.com/www.conversationsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Deserve.jpegDoesn’t God want me to be a Happy, Functioning member of society?  He doesn’t want me to settle (umm, too late sista, you said “I do, remember?” that wasn’t a settlement that was a promise).

Then, why am I putting up with this garbage, and limiting my “options” here?  Why on earth do I subject myself to this relationship day in and day out?  I am worth more than this!  And it doesn’t help to hear these LOUD messages all the time:

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Then, the other inevitable thought struck me.  Yes, it was bound to at some point, I did invoke the name of God, after all.  Let me just give you a hint, in case you don’t know this already: Anytime you bring God into your thoughts trying to justify those thoughts or actions you plan to do . . . especially under the pretext that God is going to forgive you anyway, because it is in His nature . . . you just get ready for Him to work on YOU.

He starts to work on all kinds of stuff, especially on your thinking (how annoying when you’re wallowing in self pity, I might add).  What pray-tell did He say to me in that moment, you ask?

Warning:  Oh . . . you just opened up a LARGE A** Can of Worms!

He had done said to me:

… You keep subjecting yourself to this other person AND this relationship continuously, because that other person is NOT JUNK.

… Furthermore, I DON’T MAKE JUNK!  (Let me break that one down:  God, don’t make no junk y’all!)

… And, despite your superiority complex, at times, this other person (as you are so disdainfully referring to him as at this moment), is so Equally, UnashamedlyWholly and Deserving-ly LOVED by Me!

Whoa!  That took me a step back.  You mean, my husband Deserves just as much of my respect and Love, or more – as I expect from him?  And all this because, my God loves him with an everlasting love that has, in turn, been entrusted to me while on this earth?!

Yes, It is as simple as that.

So, what is this , “I Deserve More!” attitude?  And, where does it come from anyway?  Pride.  Yeah, I said it . . . P R I D E.

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It’s like this:

When one of my kids runs up to me to tattle on one of their siblings, and they use words like, “I Hate [insert name],” or “They are sooo …. [insert label]!”  Something just stirs inside of me, and it HURTS!  It truly hurts my heart.  Not just because this child is hurting that child, but because both of them are Mine.  They are a part of my being in such an intrinsically basic way, that it hurts me when they hurt.  And all the Mama’s can attest to this!

Well, getting back to the heart of the Father, and His feelings for Us, His children . . . all I can think is that, when I cry and complain about my spouse, I may as well be crying and complaining about God- because it IS His fault.  And by fault, I mean . . . His design.  It was His flesh, and breath that gave my husband life, and it was His plan to so strategically place this man in my life.  I may as well tell God in my Big, Puffy, Arrogant voice:

YOU’RE  Doing  it  WRONG!!  You don’t know what You’re Doing!!

When, in fact, He isn’t and He does.

Who am I to declare in a brazen voice that I deserve More than what I have been given?  Who am I to declare that I deserve Better than what I am?  Who am I to say this spouse of mine is NOT Enough?  Who am I to say this person is not God’s Best Work?

I am nothing.

My life is but a breath (Job 7:7), and every mortal man is only a vapor (Psalm 39:5).

https://i1.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m46szsKwZ01qbatwqo1_1280.jpgWhat is this compared to an Eternal God?  It kinda puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?  No, I’m not degrading who I am , or looking for others to affirm what I already know to be true about my life, that I am Fearfully and Wonderfully MADE… that my soul knows full well (Psalm 139:14)!  I even wrote an entire post about just that!

This is more of a: I am humbled to know that there is a God who knows me better than I know me.  Who knows my spouse better than I know him.  AND, who knows what kind of World-Changing, History-Making kinda possibilities there are because of our love for one another . . . that He would orchestrate and design for us to find each other on this Big Planet.

Here’s what I’m not saying:

I Am Absolutely NOT saying to stay in an abusive relationship!  In the very least, you should leave this situation and get help!  Maybe this marriage can be healed at a distance, but maybe it cannot – but you have to be safe from harm to determine that.

What I am saying:

I am NOT God’s gift to the World, and I don’t deserve something/ someone better than this incredibly talented, and complicated being God put so much thought and care into creating and giving me to hold onto.  You may say, “But, this Dude/Chick is HIGH Maintenance . . . HIGH!”  That may be very true, but I would say (provided they are your spouse): You’re  LUCKY!!

God entrusted you with one of His fine tuned /delicate creatures.  Learn how to steward that gift and responsibility to the best of your ability, because God has shown you Favor.  So, STOP acting like you have been Cursed!  You haven’t.  I haven’t.   On the contrary, You have been Blessed.

I have been BLESSED (with complicated). 😉

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How much trust does it take to give a kid a fish?  Not much, it’s not that big of an investment.  How much more, a horse?

Do you catch my drift?  Now, am I saying you are unfavored if you married a fish (someone uncomplicated)?  No.  You have simply been blessed in another way.

The point is, we are all blessed!  Sometimes, we have to turn off the NOISE, and take off the BLINDERS in order to see it.  But you say, “I would have to search pretty hard to see the blessing in my situation!”  Isn’t it that much sweeter to find a hidden treasure than to partake in one that is open to all?

Bottom Line:

We are all in this life together.  We don’t deserve any more than the next guy, as it relates to the relationships in our lives . . . if you think you do, you are making people commodities . . .  don’t do that, please.  No, let’s all just agree to dismount from our High Horses, and LOVE the complicated mess – we have been privileged to know- while they do the same with us.

  **Peace Out Y’all!**

~ Julie ~

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going Somewhere?

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Hello Again!

The following entry comes from today!  It is taken from two different passages (Deuteronomy 13: 12-17 CEV & Psalms 115:1-8 ESV), relating to the same thing: Idols.

For the sake of space, I’m only going to quote Psalm 115: 1-8, so please go back and read the other verses for clarity if you need to!

(Here is a link to the online source I use to read / listen to the Bible: https://www.youversion.com/sign-up?redirect=%2F)

Recap:

As a brief overview… in Deuteronomy Moses was talking to the people, advising them that if any choose to go astray and worship other “gods,” that they are to be stoned to death, regardless of who they are.  Picking up in the Psalms:

1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

2 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”

3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

5 They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.

6 They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.

7 They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat.

8 Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.

Ok, so what I’m getting here is that God despises all idols, and the people who ascribe to them.  They are despicable to Him, which makes you want to go, “Duh!” Right?! But, for some reason I’m seeing something new in these verses about idols, which I never saw before.

Let me explain, I’ve always understood “idols” to mean, “Anything in my life that takes me away from God… Anything that I spend more time with than God… Anything that takes precedence over God or His word in my life.”  Merriam Webster defines idol, as an “object of devotion.

In which case, I stand guilty of serving many idols- whether they be school, entertainment, children, friends, etc. the list can go on and on.  I have asked God to forgive me of this, and especially of my so-called, “innocent” addictions, such as facebook, Words with Friends, and even reading…you get the point.

WOW! But how true is His word when it says in verse 8: “Those who make them [idols] become like them; so do all who trust in them.”

Imagine that!  The idolator becomes “like an idol,” and in effect, becomes “idle.”  According to MW again: IdleInactive; spend time doing nothing; worthless; lazy.

Essentially, we / they (whoever you so choose to identify with), become unmoving … immovable.

That’s GOOD Somebody!

Have you ever felt like you had hands, yet you could not feel? Eyes, but you weren’t able to “see” what was right in front of you… the bigger picture?  Ears, but unable to hear that still, small voice of God in your life?  Feet that seem resolute to remain planted?  Or, a voice that no matter what, would NEVER be heard?

Good News:

In Christ, we are given: Purpose.  We are given a Mission.  We are given a Voice.  However, when we stop pursuing Him – our first love, that is – we move farther away from Him… we become, in essence, LESS real.

We become planted in the familiar, in the comfortable, in the seemingly “fun” world around us.  But, we are reminded in Hebrews 11: 25 that “sin is only fun for a season.”

So, while we are having “fun” ignoring God, the enemy is slowly tying our hands behind our backs, gently placing shackles on our feet, quietly setting a muzzle across our mouths, and discreetly putting a blindfold over our eyes.  Whispering the whole time, his cunning lies into our unguarded ears.

Eventually, we become so sedentary, we are as useless as a man-made idol (of wood, if you please).  We lose our purpose – our friendship with our one, true friend – our relationship with our beloved creator, Abba Father.

Just think about it a minute… how upset or hurt do we get when our loved ones, especially our “better halves,” choose NOT to pursue us… when they choose other things, activities, friends, or even work over us – we feel like, “Second Best.”

What is taking FIRST place in Your life?

Is God’s heart aching over your lack of perseverance in pursing Him?

Yes, sometimes (Oh, heck… MOST of the time, if I’m honest) it can be a struggle to FIND time (as if it’s lost…. another topic for another day… lol) to read His Word & Sometimes we read it, at least I do, so fast we get no meaning out of it at all – just the satisfaction of checking that little box off in our daily reading plan for that day.

How do you feel when your significant other is too busy to spend time with you or finds it too tiresome to connect with you in meaningful ways?  How hurtful is it when they just go through the motions with you…trying to appease you with a substitute of themselves? (You know… when their body is present, but they are quite far away)  Go ahead … Think about it.

We are made in the Image of Almighty God.

So, if you had to be honest … are you hurting God’s heart?  Are you forcing Him to literally BEG for your attention / affection today… or are you giving Him your best?!

Sadly, I’ve been in that first category too many times to count!  But, by God’s grace and compassion, He did seek me out and begged for my attention – When I finally {reluctantly, even} gave it all to Him – He made me ALIVE, AWAKE, and REAL again!

Question:

I’m ALIVE today… how about You?

*Original Spanish inspiration:

SALMO 115: 1-8 (TLA):

1Tú mereces alabanzas, Dios nuestro, y no nosotros; tú mereces alabanzas por tu amor y tu fidelidad.

2 Las otras naciones preguntan en son de burla: «¿Qué pasó con su Dios?»

3 Pero tú estás en el cielo, y haces todo lo que quieres!

4 Los ídolos de esas naciones son objetos de oro y plata; ¡son hechura humana!

5 ¿Y qué es lo que tienen? Una boca que no habla, y ojos que no ven;

6 orejas que no oyen, y narices que no huelen;

7 manos que no tocan, y pies que no andan; garganta tienen, ¡pero no emiten ningún sonido!

8 Iguales a esos ídolos son quienes los hacen y quienes confían en ellos.

“Find Inspiration at EVERY turn!”

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Isn’t it interesting that in Math, often times you or someone else can go through many different processes to get the “right” answer?  But, sometimes in more advanced math problems- you have to go through what’s called the Order of Operations, if you hope to get the desired answer… going in a certain “order”… doing one step before the others to get the desired outcome.

I LOVE THIS!

Why? You may well be wondering, along with, “what the HECK does this have to do with anything?!”

Well, I’m glad you asked (or thought it…oh, whatever…you know what I mean)!

…So it is with God…

There is only ONE direction we can go to get to him  -> -> -> that’s through Christ alone!

This may seem incredibly “intolerant,”  but…it’s TRUE! For example,  how foolish would I look, if I went to my Calculus professor and insisted:  “You’re being intolerant! I want to solve the problem this way________ (fill in the blank) … but you dare to tell me, that there is only one way to start this problem for it to end with the correct solution?! How INTOLERANT!”

To say the professor was being “intolerant” would be pretty silly, indeed! Because our logic tells us that there are certain Math rules or laws one must follow to get the right answer.  In math, we accept this “intolerance,” as just the way it is.  It’s unalterable in our minds …  after all, It’s a law of mathematics!  What if God’s universal laws worked the same way? I, daresay, that they do.

Question:

Why then, do people have such a problem with Christianity being “intolerant?”  When in reality, it’s just a FACT of life here on Earth…there’s only ONE way out.

*As always, I would like to leave you with the inspiration for this post.  A friend of mine posted a “word-problem” on facebook:

There is a bus with 7 girl riders. Each girl has 7 bags. Each bag has 7 large cats inside. For each large cat there are 7 small cats. How many legs are on the bus omitting the bus driver?

What I got…

7 girls
7 bags each
7 large cats per bag
7 little cats for each large

7 little cats x 4 legs = 28 legs

28 legs + 4 Big cat legs = 32 legs

32 legs x 7 cats = 224 legs per bag

224 cat legs x 7 bags = 1,568 cat legs

1,568 cat legs + 2 girl legs = 1,570 legs

1,570 legs x 7 girls = 10,990 total legs

This is How she got it…
7 girls
7 bags each
7 large cats per bag
7 little cats for each large

7×2=14 girl legs
7×7=49 total bags
49×7=343 big cats
343×4=1372 big legs
343×7=2401 kittens
2401×4=9604 kitten legs
14+1372+9604=10990

 

Unless in the small chance, this is one if those tricky questions which wants the response, “zero, since a bus has no legs,” as someone quickly pointed out…lol…both means were effective at getting the answer! : )

 

God can speak to us through ANY and EVERY thing…if we’re looking!!

Another Hidden Treasure…

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*This post, along with others is an excerpt from the prayer journal I have been using to document everything up until this point, it was written on March 13, 2012 after studying Genesis 6:5-8 and 9:8-13.*

It’s incredible to me how something I have read a hundred times has the ability to jump out at me in such a new way! Then again, I shouldn’t be too surprised because that is precisely what I prayed for when starting this journey.  It shouldn’t surprise us when God answers our prayers; it’s natural. So, here is the little bit of insight I got after reading about Noah for the umpteenth time… a true testament to me that God’s Word is Alive!  This revelation came to me on a day of confusion, after seeing some gut-wrenching thing on the news… about why there is so much evil in the world today, what with trafficking, war, and child abusers, and had me wondering why God didn’t just choose to wipe all of those evildoers off the face of the earth; I mean, He did it with Sodom and Gomorrah, right?! 

Well, He answered my heart’s question that day, and He is faithful to do just that in your life too! All He asks of us is to seek Him.

*Note: Spanish text from the NVI (Nueva Version Internacional) version of these scriptures can be found below for reference.

**Note: Please keep in mind that these are little things I’ve found along the way and the reflections I’ve garnered from them; I’m not a theologian. Phew! Glad we got that out of the way, lol!  Also, because I’m giving you an uncensored peek into my “findings,” and hence my World; I hope you are not easily offended by my questioning God and / or  the way we get along {me and the Big Guy, that is}, because I, like everyone else, am flawed in my Earthly perspective. I believe we will get the full view, only when we make it to the other side of eternity. With that said, read on, be blessed, and encouraged! : )

Genesis 6: 5-8, NIV :

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Genesis 9: 8-13, NIV :

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him:9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Wow!  Genesis chapter 9 has never been more eye opening to me before. But before we get into that, let’s go back a little to see what has led up to this point.  According to the brief genealogy given us in Genesis chapter 6 [not listed in reference verses], we are able to see that roughly about 1,000 years have passed in the 10 generations from Adam to Noah.  But still, this is only Genesis 6.  So, in the 6th chapter of the FIRST book of 66 books in the Bible, God is already showing “Buyer’s Remorse,” so to speak.  Translating it, myself, from the Spanish NVI, Genesis 6:5-6 says, “God, seeing that mankind’s wickedness on the Earth was so great, and that all their thoughts were always evil, regretted having made them, and it troubled His heart.”  This alone is astounding! In the beginning, did God not know when He created man and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that we, as humans, would turn towards sin and live wicked lives?

 Of course He knew, He knew our propensity for both good and evil, and that didn’t stop Him from loving us and creating us.  Is it even possible for God to regret something He has done? Well, the Bible shows us it is.  Regretting something usually implies that something has been done by mistake.  Is it possible that God felt He had made a mistake?! I wonder… the God of the Heavens and the Earth, that I serve, has stated before everything, that He felt remorse / regret at the sight of humanity; and this, only 6 chapters into our history!!

However, with one man… Noah, He was pleased and Noah found favor with God.  Yet another ASTONISHING statement!  There was one who had found favor with God.  Noah was not perfect, but he lived in a way that brought him closer to God. 

Getting back to the destruction of the World bit, these verses also show us that God did not haphazardly destroy all of humanity  -He gave Noah a task-  But, before that even, God singled Noah out, which says to me, that He searched the Earth to find some good in it, to merit being saved such a disaster, and what did he find? One man. In ALL the Earth. One man, and his family. 

God gave Noah a job -much like Adam’s job- we are not given an exact time frame of how long it took, but we know it took many years…  Years, I believe, God spent waiting.  Something we should understand here, is that Noah spent a lot of time building that boat out in the desert, surrounded by a sinful generation.  God said they were violent and corrupt, but in Noah, He found righteousness.  Obviously, in that whole stretch of time, no one else came forth to find favor with God– No One else chose to live righteously, no one else was sent for to accompany Noah’s family into the ark.

Yes, God created all, knows all, and sees all, past and present, but He gave to us Free Will. The way I see it, we can choose any number of paths to follow all with a certain end to each of those paths defined.  Each step, each decision has a consequence, whether good, bad, or neutral… and as we are told by the great Physicist Sir Isaac Newton, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”  So, that said, there was a period of time in which Humanity was given to change their ways.  In the end though, only one family boarded that boat.

Although we are told the rains lasted 40 days and 40 nights, and that the Earth was flooded more than 7 meters above the highest mountain tops, Genesis 7:24 reminds us that the waters flooded the earth for 150 days.  Afterwards, we read that The Lord sent a great wind, and that the waters began to recede, which took about another 150 days.  So, it was approximately about a year total they spent on the ark.  Noah was documented as being 600 years old when he entered the ark and 601 when he left the ark.  That is a LONG time to be stuck on a boat!

Then, when it was all over, God made a pact with Noah to never destroy the earth again by flood and gave the rainbow as a sign to both man and God of this covenant.  AMAZING- that God should make and keep pacts, promises, and covenants with us, mere mortals…but, we were made in His image and He loves us so!

My goal here, is to point out that from Genesis to Revelation, we hear about generation after wicked generation of people who fail to follow God- but, NEVER does He send a flood to start over.  Interestingly, “all of life” is included in this promise.

Another interesting thing to note, God never says that He regretted flooding the earth- it was necessary- only that He would never do it again.  My question is, are we any less evil than those of old, who were destroyed in the flood? I don’t think so. If I had to guess, we are more evil of a generation, but I don’t know either.

(Btw, There’s some evolution for ya…Noah: Survival of the fittest? No; Survival of the most righteous? yes.)

 It made me wonder what the point of the flood really was, if we as a race would ultimately be evil once more?  Ironically, I think it shows God’s compassion for us, His creation.  The Bibles tells us that when God sees a rainbow, that He, himself, is reminded of His pact with us.  It’s as if He KNOWS -which He does- that all WILL go a muck yet again. But, He is promising to all living creatures and to Himself that no matter how horrible we get- a flood will not be the answer for us again.  He has never broken this promise.

Also, interesting to note, is that unlike so many of his promises to His people, this one was unconditional.  There was no condition given with this promise, because He knew we would break it.  His love for His creation is unconditional. 

Recap: God said His heart was troubled by the condition of the Human race. Couldn’t this also be true today? I daresay it is.  Wickedness abounds in the world, and if it troubles you, then how much more does it trouble God, our father?! If He gave you His eyes for a minute, what would you do with what you saw? Would you then ask for His hands and promise to be His feet?

Every sin is equal in His eyes, thus we have all fallen short monumentally, but still He loves us and keeps His promise to not destroy us all.  He gives us the gift of compassion to help a hurting world in His name.

Final thought: Even if He intervened and got rid of all the “bad” people today, we would STILL have sin in the world, and eventually all would be as it once was.  So, until we are joined with Him in Heaven, darkness will surround us- only to be dispelled by the light that shines in and through us.

Take away message: I can trust God everyday and even if I don’t understand Him completely, I can know that He is concerned with and for me and the people of this world. I can then share the light I have found in Christ with others, and it’s super important now, because starting over just ISN’T an option anymore!

 

Thanks for reading and I invite you to comment or question below!

Génesis 6: 5-8, NVI :

5 Al ver el Señor que la maldad del ser humano en la tierra era muy grande, y que todos sus pensamientos tendían siempre hacia el mal, 6 se arrepintió de haber hecho al ser humano en la tierra, y le dolió en el corazón. 7 Entonces dijo: «Voy a borrar de la tierra al ser humano que he creado. Y haré lo mismo con los animales, los reptiles y las aves del cielo. ¡Me arrepiento de haberlos creado!» 8 Pero Noé contaba con el favor del Señor.

Génesis 9: 8-13, NVI :

8 Dios les habló otra vez a Noé y a sus hijos, y les dijo: 9 «Yo establezco mi *pacto con ustedes, con sus descendientes, 10 y con todos los seres vivientes que están con ustedes, es decir, con todos los seres vivientes de la tierra que salieron del arca: las aves, y los animales domésticos y salvajes. 11 Éste es mi pacto con ustedes: Nunca más serán exterminados los seres humanos por un diluvio; nunca más habrá un diluvio que destruya la tierra.»
12 Y Dios añadió: «Ésta es la señal del pacto que establezco para siempre con ustedes y con todos los seres vivientes que los acompañan: 13 He colocado mi arco iris en las nubes, el cual servirá como señal de mi pacto con la tierra.

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