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
What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
These verses summarize what I have written in two of my previous posts. Those posts covered King Solomon and his quest for understanding man. In Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 Solomon writes about setting his heart to seek the understanding of man’s actions. As a result of this quest he realizes how hollow man can be.
In Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 Solomon writes about the forces of life, God, the universe, and the vanity of man. He tells me, for man to think that these forces don’t exist, or that man can change them, well that is truly vanity.
So now in Ecclesiastes 2:22-23, Solomon tells us the results of toiling and striving after worldly things under the sun. The constant toil for worldly items brings sorrow and vexation. It is vanity, it is pointless. Continue reading
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
That’s some pretty powerful stuff right there.
Ezekiel the Old Testament prophet is laying down some twenty first century wisdom. Actually it’s eternal wisdom that will apply throughout time.
What Ezekiel is saying is you are in charge and you are responsible for all you do and all that happens to you. Not the government, not the church, not your family, not your friends, not your enemies, but you and only you are responsible.
Your righteousness and your wickedness are yours to own. You own it, no one else does, no matter what you think of say. Continue reading
This is a follow up to my previous post “For Comfort and Convenience”. The post was about how the Israelites were willing to give up a piece of their freedom for a king. They still wanted a king even after being duly warned by Samuel. They wanted someone to fight their battles, someone to give them comfort and convenience and they were willing to give up a piece of their freedom.
After writing that post, I began to think more about a verse in 1 Samuel 8, verse 7.
And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.
God says, “but they have rejected me from being king over them”. Continue reading
You see a lot of people who claim to be very “spiritual” people. Most of these people like to advertise just how “spiritual” they are.
Spirituality isn’t painted on the side of a van, bus, trailer, car or house.
Spirituality is painted in your heart. It’s painted there for you and God to see and that’s all that matters.
Read Matthew 6:1-18 Continue reading