To crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the earth,
to deny a man justice
in the presence of the Most High,
to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
the Lord does not approve.
Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Why should a living man complain,
a man, about the punishment of his sins?
When I read these verses, I am reminded of the arrogance of man and so is Jeremiah who wrote these lamentations for Israel. I am reminded of the arrogance of people who assume that all justice is defined as they see it. I am talking about the arrogance of those who think that punishment is to be doled out to their own sense of revenge. The assumption that they are the sole proprietors of making the determination of the punishment to fit the crime. People believe they are the center of the universe and therefore the balance is of their doing and it is to be to their satisfaction. But we are only a mere sub atomic particle in the infinity of space.
Justice is very subjective. Continue reading
Righteous are you, O Lord,
when I complain to you;
yet I would plead my case before you.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
they grow and produce fruit;
you are near in their mouth
and far from their heart.
But you, O Lord, know me;
you see me, and test my heart toward you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
How long will the land mourn
and the grass of every field wither?
For the evil of those who dwell in it
the beasts and the birds are swept away,
because they said, “He will not see our latter end.”
The English Standard Version of the Bible gives verses one through four the title: “Jeremiah’s Complaint”. Some of the commentaries I have read about these verses state that this is not Jeremiah quarreling with God, or attempting to quarrel with God, but it is a plea. I would say a plea for justice. Continue reading
Behold, the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate,
and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
as with the slave, so with his master;
as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller;
as with the lender, so with the borrower;
as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
This is just another quick post about the balance of the universe. Perhaps it would make more sense if I said equality of the universe. Because Isaiah is writing about God’s consequences for sin and unrighteousness. God’s will to balance things. 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
Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you.
I read this proverb and thought about the balance of the universe.
King Solomon is telling us that evil will be repaid by the universe, there is no need to take matters into your own hands. Especially since our response would be futile since we do not have control over the balance. The balance is there, always has been and always will be. Continue reading
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
I read these verses and thought about how they fit into the theme of why does God let bad things happen to good people and vice versa. It also goes along with the whole balance of the universe and eventually, on God’s terms, there is a price to pay for sin.
Job questioned it throughout the Book of Job. He wondered why a good and righteous man such as himself, could have such horrible events happen to him. Remember Job lost all his possessions, which were extensive He lost his entire family except for his wife. Job questioned because he looked around and saw the wicked man living in the lap of luxury, while committing sins and having the time of his life. Continue reading
With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
Reading through the Psalms of King David, songs written by David to praise God, I always find a number of verses enjoyable to read. This was one of them.
Here David is expressing a concept that is worded many different ways in the Bible. It is the same concept expressed in a number of other religions and philosophies.
Most of us are familiar with the saying, “You reap what you sow.” Continue reading