2 Thessalonians 3:6-12
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
In this letter to the Thessalonians Paul is addressing something that Solomon had said thousands of years before.
In all the things that man can do and occupy his mind, in all things man can chase, all that really is important is your toil, being happy in your toil, your work. For as Solomon said, all else is vanity and striving after wind.
But Paul is also addressing two other aspects of an idle life. Continue reading
Romans 1:14 – 5:19 – 6:23
One of my beliefs about life, God, and our existence is balance, the balance of the universe. It’s referred to throughout the Bible and history. So here are three verses in Paul’s letter to the Romans that made me think about the balance. Continue reading
And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.
Isaiah is speaking about those who choose to consult mediums and spiritualists, those who feel the dead can give foresight and insight to the living. He is talking about those who choose not to have God in their hearts. He informs them of the results of such a choice. Isaiah is addressing what happens to us when times are tough, our faith is tested, and we have failed to let God into our hearts. Continue reading
because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
I wrote a piece about Romans 1:22 -23 (Socrates and a Chicken). In that piece, I wrote about the arrogance of man. It stated how we get so caught up in our creations that we fail to acknowledge our Creator. Here in verse 25 Paul speaks of that sentiment.
….worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator….
We’ve out grown carving wooden animals, layering them with gold, and presenting it with sacrifices with the expectation of divine intervention. Or have we? Continue reading
2 Samuel 6:16-23 is the story of King David celebrating the Ark of the Covenant, or Ark of the Lord coming to The City of David.
Michal the daughter of the deceased King Saul, King David’s predecessor, looks upon David dancing as he celebrates the arrival of the ark with disdain. She despises David.
The verses never say exactly why she harbors these feelings of ill will towards David. My guess is she is upset over her father’s death and since David is his successor, she holds David responsible for his death. Although those feelings would be misguided, it seems only natural that when something bad happens we look for someone to blame.
Michal sees David celebrating and must have found it to be not very “king like”.
2 Samuel 6:14
And David danced before the Lord with all his might… Continue reading
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
I liked this verse, it has a happily ever after feel, but my thoughts on this verse probably varies from others who read it.
When I young, before I started to really think about God and my faith, I had a pretty standard take on this verse. My upbringing in the church was one of a loving God, but also a fire and brimstone God constantly punishing us for every sin and then forgiving. So fear of the Lord was fear of an omnipotent being just waiting for me to screw up. I’d better walk the line. Continue reading
Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
I read this verse and it reminded me of the book that precedes Psalm. I have written a number of posts about this book and that is the Book of Job.
In this Psalm, David has the same complaints as Job. David is wondering where the Lord is in his times of trouble. David is asking some of the same questions that Job had asked centuries before. And David is asking the same questions we all ask when something terrible happens in our lives. We ask, “How God could let this happen?”
David wonders how the wicked can say there is no God and yet continue to prosper in their ways. Continue reading
For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Moses is giving the Israelites the commandments of God before they make their trip into the Promised Land, a trip which Moses will not make.
These verses hold a special meaning for me. Continue reading
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Those born in the 1950’s certainly recognize these verses as part of a Pete Seeger song made famous by The Byrds, Turn Turn Turn. The song has been touted as an anti-war song. King Solomon was not writing a song for the “peace movement” when composing these eight verses. King Solomon was reminding us about the balance of the universe. Continue reading
War is inevitable.
It has been with us throughout time and will continue to the end.
It may very well cause the end.
It has and will always be barbaric. It just gets less messy for those who have to deliver the fatal blow or maybe I should say those who command those delivering the fatal blow.
It affects countless lives.
It affects those directly involved and it affect those not directly involved.
I have been fortunate to have never known or felt the horrors of war. I make no pretense to understanding the effects of war on those who have experienced it firsthand. Continue reading