Downfall of the Welfare State

Downfall of the Welfare State

Matthew 25:29-30

For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

These verses follow “The Parable of the Talents” which I have written about before.  (Using Your Talent)  The parable is about wasting a life, the gift of life, through covetousness, worry or fear.  In verse 29 Christ sums up this law of nature, or the law of the balance of the universe.

But reading these verses also brought to mind another thought which I wrote down as not to forget.  My note was: “downfall of the welfare state”. Continue reading

Preconceived Expectations

Preconceived Expectations

In the Second Book of Kings, Chapter 5, there is the story of Naaman and Elisha.

Elisha was the understudy of the prophet Elijah and when Elijah slept with his fathers, Elisha became the man of God, the prophet.  Naaman was the commander of the army for the king of Syria and he was held in high regard by his king.

At that time the Syrian army had been making raids into Israel (see how long this stuff had been going on in the Middle East) and one of the captives was a little girl who ended up working for Naaman.

Naaman is described in the Bible as a valiant man, but he was a leper.  The girl from Israel knew of the prophet Elisha and told Naaman’s wife about him.  The little girl told her that Elisha could cure her husband. Continue reading

Take What Belongs To You and Go

Take What Belongs To You and Go

Matthew 20:14-16

Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”

In Matthew, Chapter 20, Jesus tells his followers the parable, “Laborers in the Vineyards”.  If you haven’t read it or are not familiar with it go and read it now.  I’ll wait.

Ok, here’s a recap if you decided not to read it. 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

One Astray

One Astray

Matthew 18:12-14

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Chapter 18 begins with the Disciples asking Jesus a rather odd question, or at least it seems odd to me.  They ask, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”  I’m not sure what they are asking.  Are they wondering if Moses, Elijah, or Isaiah holds the most power?  I don’t know, but it demonstrates that the Disciples, like all of us, couldn’t truly forsake worldly thoughts and ideas.  It shows a thinking of class warfare.  The poor versus, the middle, versus the upper class, versus the royalty.  And it reveals a concern about what other individuals think. Continue reading

Text Book For The Future

Text Book For The Future

Joel 1: 2-3

Hear this, you elders;
    give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has such a thing happened in your days,
    or in the days of your fathers?
Tell your children of it,
    and let your children tell their children,
    and their children to another generation.

The English Standard Version Bible titles Chapter 1 of the Book of Joel as,  “An Invasion of Locust”.   Joel is referring to the outside invaders of Jerusalem, who will plunder and carry off the nation of Israel to Babylon.  Joel poetically describes the destruction of a once great and powerful nation and its reduction to rubble.  He begins his lament with a warning to the elders of Israel, advising them to be sure they record this disaster and share it with future generations.  It’s basically the old adage, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Continue reading

What Goes Into Your Mouth

What Goes Into Your Mouth

Matthew 15:18-19

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

In Matthew, Chapter 15, the Pharisees and Scribes had come to Jesus to ask him why his disciples break the traditions of the elders by not washing their hands before they eat.  Christs asks the Pharisees and Scribes why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your traditions.  Jesus sites the prophesy of Isaiah 29:13:

Continue reading