“Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.
“Moab has been at ease from his youth
and has settled on his dregs;
he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
nor has he gone into exile;
so his taste remains in him,
and his scent is not changed.
“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I shall send to him pourers who will pour him, and empty his vessels and break his jars in pieces.
When I first read these verses I jotted down the word, “stagnant”. I wasn’t sure why that word came to mind, it was just my gut instinct. So I thought I do some research about these verses and see what others had to say. By others, I mean biblical scholars, and of all the ones I read, I most understood the commentaries of John Gill. Continue reading
Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
This is Isaiah summing up man.
In Isaiah 48, Isaiah is telling the Israelites how God has shown them miracles, brought them out of bondage, and informed them of the consequences of their actions. God reminds them that all the things told to them and shown to them have come to pass. The Israelites knew of the consequences of their actions and chose to ignore them, they turned to man-made idols for their salvation. Continue reading
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me
This is God talking to King Cyrus.
In this verse God is reminding Cyrus where his power and authority come from. God reminds Cyrus not to get too full of himself and start thinking of himself as a god.
As king of Persia, Cyrus conquered Babylon which was a great power at the time. So Cyrus was a pretty powerful king to conquer such a powerful nation. Continue reading
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Okay, so I’m beating this to death, but I feel this phrase, “the fear of the Lord” is very important. At least it is to me and my life.
I previously wrote how this phrase turns up numerous times in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. And I have written how this phrase is misconstrued. Most concepts of “the fear of the Lord” are, a being of human form, floating above in the clouds, looking down, just waiting for us to screw up. But if you read any of my previous posts on this phrase you know that’s not what it’s about. Continue reading
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” That is a question we all should ask ourselves every day, and then we should honestly answer it. Continue reading
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
In previous posts I wrote about the phrase “fear of the Lord” and after reading this verse I thought I would touch on it again today.
Let’s look at the definition of “fear”: Continue reading
But you say, ‘What a weariness this is”, and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
I’m just about all the way through the Old Testament on this go round with the Bible.
This verse spoke to me beyond the literal interpretation. Animal sacrifices are obviously an antiquated idea. They existed in Biblical times to drive home the seriousness of sin. Through these sacrifices you atoned or paid for your sin.
The price was steep. You sacrificed your best. You sacrificed your unblemished, your males who could produce quality off spring, the males that could grow your flock and enrich your wealth.
You give your best to God because God comes first. By not giving your best you anger God and hurt yourself. 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
The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.
What is King David saying in these two verses? He’s saying, “Might doesn’t make right,” But he is also telling me that you can store up all the wealth and power, be strong enough in men and materials to defeat any enemy, but all this will not bring you salvation. Salvation, not great victories, not success over others, but your personal salvation. The salvation of your soul, your being.
What is salvation? Continue reading
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
King Solomon is telling us that no matter what we do, do it to the best of our abilities.
This reminds me of something I was told by one of my contacts whom I worked with at a large customer. I dealt with him for a number of years. He was always honest and fair with me and I appreciated it very much. Unfortunately he passed away suddenly and I never had the chance to express my gratitude and enjoyment of working with him. Continue reading