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
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
God is telling Ezekiel he is the watchman for Israel and if he follows through by warning them of their impending doom then he will have no blood on his hands. But if he fails to warn them he is just as guilty as those that God is going to destroy.
To me this also speaks about our personal responsibilities. Continue reading
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
James, who is believed to be the half brother of Christ, wrote these words over 1900 years ago.
I find these words to ring true today, and I thought I would share how true they are for those who profess to serve us each day in the political world. The point I wanted to make with these prophetic words is to those who delude themselves into believing that our “representatives” and “leaders”, no matter which side, are there for some altruistic desire to make this world a better place for you and me.
That belief, that sentiment, is pure bullshit! Continue reading
In previous posts I have written about how I can’t find any verses in the Bible where music is condemned or categorized as evil.
Then I came across this verse:
Take away from me the noise or your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
When I first read this I wrote a note to myself listing this verse and then shoved the note in my composition book. I pulled it out a couple of weeks later and read the verse I thought maybe I finally found a verse where music is condemned. But then I went back and read the verse in its context.
Read it below as part of Amos 5:18-24: 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
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