A Shekel and a Pair of Shoes

A Shekel and a Pair of Shoes

Amos 8:4-6

Hear this, you who trample on the needy
    and bring the poor of the land to an end,
saying, “When will the new moon be over,
    that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
    that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great
    and deal deceitfully with false balances,
that we may buy the poor for silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals
    and sell the chaff of the wheat?”

Many will read these verses and assume that they are in reference to corrupt corporations looking to make a buck by oppressing the poor.  It sounds like that when you only read verses 4 and 5.  But when you read verse 6 you realize who Amos is really referring to in these verses. Continue reading

Groundhog Day – The Last Fairy Tale To Die

Groundhog Day – The Last Fairy Tale To Die

It’s Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day was one of the last, if not the last fairy tale to die in my younger days.

Long after Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy had been exposed as frauds, I still clung to Groundhog Day.

My main beliefs about Groundhog Day really weren’t passed down to me by my parents or my grandparents although they never did anything to deter my belief in the myth.

It was my own naïve, country boy view of the world that I never shared with anyone until I was much older.    When I still believed in the myth of Groundhog Day and his weather prognostication abilities no one really talked about it so I just thought everyone believed as I did.  Then when I realized just how wrong I was about it I may have been too embarrassed to tell anyone.  But as you get older you just don’t care what others think. Continue reading

Special Tools

Special Tools

Isaiah 45:5

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

Tear Your Heart

Tear Your Heart

Joel 2:13

and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.

“….and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

That was the line that caught my attention, so I made a note to write about it.  I was familiar with the word render, which means in the verb form: “to provide or give”, but rend, was throwing me a bit of a curve.  I thought it had to do with tearing since, “rend your heart” was followed by “and not your garments”.  I took the time to look up the definition just to be sure.  And that is what it means, to tear into two or more pieces. Continue reading

Fear Of A Gift Wasted

Fear Of A Gift Wasted

Proverbs 1:7

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

Magic Stones

Magic Stones

Proverbs 17:8

A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;

wherever he turns he prospers.

King Solomon understood politics.  This verse is the very essence of politics, as it is now and as it will always be.  No matter which side, this verse is politics.

Here is the Merriam Webster definition of politics:

  • The art or science of government.
  • The art or science concerned with guiding or influencing government policy.
  • The art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government.

Number three got me, winning and holding control over a government.  It’s not about doing what is right, or doing what is best for the people being governed.  Most of the time what is right and what is best is unpopular.  Being unpopular never got anyone elected. 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