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
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
I’ve known that the first half of these verses were called “The Beatitudes”, but never really knew the definition of the word “beatitude”. So I looked it up. Continue reading
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
“Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”
The prophet Malachi has written the words of God, and here he has written another example of the arrogance of man. This is God calling us out for our arrogance.
Israel had its expectations of God just as we do now. They had expectations about what God should or shouldn’t be doing. So when God didn’t meet their expectations they spoke as Malachi has written in these verses. 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
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
It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of drought;
but when they had grazed, they became full,
they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
therefore they forgot me.
These two verses touch on a number of themes. There is the balance of the universe, times of little and times of plenty. And the subject of how we tend to pray like crazy when things go wrong, but when times are good, we don’t give thanks or realize what we have. But today these verses brought to mind the arrogance of man.
The arrogance of man, the pride and selfishness to believe that we are the universe. The arrogance of our expectations. If the outcome doesn’t fit our expectations then all that happens throughout the universe are just random acts that have no rhyme or reason. So we believe that we are not responsible for the consequences of our actions. Continue reading