Simple Lesson of Life

Simple Lesson of Life

Philippians 4:11-13

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well feed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Why Paul is saying this to the Philippians is not important to what I am writing.  But in the verse that precedes these verses Paul writes:

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me.  Indeed you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.

Paul is glad the Philippians have taken an interest in him, not because he wants them to take care of him, but because he knows he can lead them to God and Christ and show them the contentment he has discovered in getting his relationship with God and Christ.

This is what led me to write down these verses. Continue reading

Depart From Us

Depart From Us

Job 21:14-15

They say to God, ‘Depart from us!

We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.

What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?

And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’

The verses above are from the Book of Job, and if you read the Book of Job you’ll know that these verses are part of a back and forth conversation between Job and his three friend.  Later I’ll have some more posts about the entire story of Job.  Each time I read the story I discover a deeper meaning, but for now I just want to focus on these two verses.

Job’s one friend, Bildad, has told Job he must have done something very wicked and evil.  Why else would these horrible, catastrophic things have happened to Job?  Job’s rebuttal is the wicked may not always be punished, at least not during their time on earth.  Now in a later post I’ll get more into this facet of the story of Job as well, since this is the basic theme of conversation between Job and his three friends. Continue reading

Where The Vultures Gather

Where The Vultures Gather

Luke 17:37

And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

I like what Christ is saying to his disciples, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

Now if you go back and read verses twenty through thirty seven in Chapter 17 of the Book of Luke, you will see that the obvious reference for verse thirty seven is about when and where will the Kingdom of God come to man, when will the rapture take place.

Christ addresses both his disciples and the Pharisees to be aware of the false prophets, those who say as in verse 23 “And they will say to you, ‘Look, there’ or ‘look, here’.  Do not go out or follow them.”

But Christ also tells them to be aware.  The rapture will come at any time, like it did for the world with Noah, or like it did for the inhabitants of Sodom.

So where will it come? Continue reading

No Good Deed…..

No Good Deed…..

1 Chronicles 19:1-5

Now after this Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. And David said, “I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came to the land of the Ammonites to Hanun to console him. But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away; and they departed. When David was told concerning the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”

Nahash, the king who dies at the beginning of these verses, had shown King David kindness at one point in his life.  Nahash or one of his sons may have protected David from his enemies who were looking to destroy him.  And it is possible that Hanun, the son and successor of Nahash and now the new king of the Ammonites, may be David’s half-brother.

Now I looked up this information because in Chapter 18 of 1 Chronicles, David set about conquering all his enemies, and was quite successful in his endeavors.  The question I had was why David decided to deal kindly with Hanun since he really didn’t have to.  And I came to the conclusion that I wrote in the previous paragraph, Nahash or Hanun had helped David and Hanun may be part of David’s family. Continue reading

Muzzle The Ox

Muzzle The Ox

Deuteronomy 25:4

You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn.

Here is the commentary of biblical scholar Matthew Henry in regards to this verse.

“This is a charge to husbandmen.  It teaches us to make much of the animals that serve us.  But we must learn, not only to be just, but kind to all who are employed for the good of our better part, our souls.”

“Be kind to all who are employed..” Continue reading

Two Kinds Of Weights

Two Kinds Of Weights

Deuteronomy 25:13-16

“You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God.

These verses are a part of the laws passed down from God to Moses.  Moses passed them down to the Jews.  This law is God instructing the Jews to treat everyone equally and to not cheat your fellowman.  I don’t think anyone, Jew, Christian, atheist or whatever, can argue with that.  All of this goes back to the Ten Commandments and obeying them.

What would cause you to cheat your fellowman?  When you covet, covet something they have or something you don’t have.  So you lie and cheat (bear false witness) to get it.

This is just God giving us a little more detail into living a righteous life.  We humans can be very stiff necked and thick headed.

But these verses go beyond commerce with other humans.  These verses speak of how you treat everyone every day.  It’s about your interaction with others and it’s also about how you treat yourself.

God is telling us to hold all, including ourselves, to the same standards.  We need to be honest in how we deal with everything.  We need to be honest when judging, or should I say be honest and don’t judge.  For if we are honest we realize we don’t know all the circumstances and don’t have all the facts.

It is God telling us to weigh carefully, honestly and openly all our actions and assessments of people and situations.  And that is very difficult to do.

We are more forgiving and willing to rationalize things done by people we like, people who agree with us and our point of view.   And we are ready to condemn those we don’t like based on what we see, hear or read.  We keep two kinds of weights in our house, one for our friends and one for our enemies.

This blinds us and deepens the chasm between us.  We don’t realize who is helping and who is hurting because we aren’t being honest with ourselves.

And we keep two kinds of weights to measure ourselves.  Sometimes we pull out the one that tells us to make a decision based on what is the easiest and not what is right.  We end up not knowing what is right because we never make decisions based on one set of fair and honest weights.

To go through life cheating yourself with two sets of weights is an abomination to yourself and an abomination to the Lord.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


How To Deal With Good And Evil

How To Deal With Good And Evil

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.  If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.  But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.  I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,  loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

These six verses are what follows the verses I wrote about in my previous post It Is In Our Hearts.  In verse 11 through 14 Moses tells the people of Israel that the word of God is very near.  It is in your heart and in your mouth.

In verses 15 through 20 Moses continues by letting the Israelites know how simple life really is. Continue reading