Stands On Its Own – Part II

Stands On Its Own – Part II

Ezekiel 33:10-12

“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ 11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

“And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.

These verses help solidify my belief that the Bible is a manual for the individual. In my previous post, Stand On Its Own, I wrote about these verses, but today I wanted to write some more as I feel strongly about the individual.   Verses like these speak of the individual and how the individual is responsible for their actions.  Although each day circumstances beyond our control are thrown at us, how we respond to those circumstances is what we can control.  Our response is what makes us who we are. Continue reading

The Bible Antiquated?

The Bible Antiquated?

People will tell you that the Bible is antiquated.

What does antiquated mean?

“Very old and no longer useful, popular or accepted: very old fashion, obsolete”

Or how about this definition:

“Outmoded or discredited by reason of age; being out of style of fashion”

Many people do consider the Bible to be very old, no longer popular or accepted.  Many consider it to be out of style and out of fashion.

But to say it is no longer useful or to discredit it by reason of age is foolish.

The Bible is not antiquated. Continue reading

What’s Wrong With A Census?

What’s Wrong With A Census?

1 Chronicles 21:1-7

Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” But Joab said, “May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” But the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah 470,000 who drew the sword. But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king’s command was abhorrent to Joab.  But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel.

When I first read these verses I didn’t understand why God would be displeased with King David taking a census.  I thought, what is wrong with knowing how many citizens you have to rule.  Countries, including our country, take a census every so many years to determine population growth, changes in demographics, etc.  Where is the sin it this?

Then, as I read it again, I realized David was getting the number of soldiers he had under his command.  Okay, again what’s wrong with that?  Eisenhower needed to know troop strength for both the Allies and the Axis.  What commander wouldn’t want to know this?  That is vital information for strategic and logistical planning.

I also wondered why David’s top commander bulked at this request.  What did he know that David didn’t know?  How did Joab know David was committing a sin? Continue reading

What Is Christmas Spirit?

What Is Christmas Spirit?

(I wrote this post three years ago and thought I would share it again this Christmas Eve.  Merry Christmas to all.)

This year is the first time I can ever remember not having much Christmas Spirit.

Honestly I’m not really sure what Christmas Spirit is so I thought I would write about it to see if it helps me figure it out.

I guess most people would say Christmas Spirit is the feeling of joy and the spirit of giving.

I know when I was a kid Christmas was the most anticipated time of the year.  The joy and the spirit of giving wasn’t the reason for the excitement, it was the joy of getting.

I was a kid and that’s what Christmas was all about.  It was the one time of the year (besides your birthday) that you got gifts, nice gifts.

But it wasn’t totally about me and what gifts I was going to receive.  I also loved the family getting together, the lights, the trees and the special once a year food.  (Steamed shrimp, yum / fried oysters and oyster pie, yuck)  Christmas Eve was the only time of the year my grandma got out her fine punch bowl and filled it with ginger ale and scoops of orange sherbet.

I grew up but hung on to the love that I had for Christmas. Continue reading

Ahab’s Retort

Ahab’s Retort

1 Kings 20:11

And the king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.’”

When I read this verse I knew I liked it but it took me a couple of times it to understand the simple message that King Ahab, the king of Israel, was conveying to King Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria.

King Ben-Hadad had gathered all his forces together, which included the armies of thirty two other kings.  That must have been a substantial military force.  For some reason Ben-Hadad wanted to conquer Samaria which was part of Israel and part of King Ahab’s domain.  Ben-Hadad massed all his forces around Samaria and was ready to attack. Continue reading

Simple Manual

Simple Manual

Ezekiel 20:11-12

I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live.  Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.

Ezekiel Chapter 20 begins with the elders of Israel coming to the prophet Ezekiel to inquire of the Lord.  It’s doesn’t tells us their question but I’m reasonably sure it’s that age old question we all ask when things go bad, “God, why did you let this happen?”

If you read the entire chapter you will learn that God, through Ezekiel, lets the elders of Israel know exactly why they have been carried off to Babylon.  God has Ezekiel give a full accounting of the history and of the relationship between God and the Israelites, and their constant rebellion against God.

Ezekiel advises the elders that they are suffering the consequences of their actions. Continue reading

Finding Your Promised Land

Finding Your Promised Land

Deuteronomy 12:5-7

But you shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

Moses is addressing the tribes of Israel as they are about to cross over the river Jordan and begin their trek into the promised land.  Moses is instructing them to be aware and be attentive to the guidance of the Lord in finding their spot to settle and worship God.

The first verse of these verses is what intrigued me the most: But you shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose… Continue reading