The old men have left the city
The young men their music,
The joy of our hearts had ceased
Our dancing had been turned into mourning.
The book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah, at least most subscribe to that idea.
Jeremiah told the Jews the words of God, prophesying their down fall and destruction.
Now here he is lamenting the destruction of their cities, wealth and once again being hauled off into captivity and oppression.
What I like about these verses is that Jeremiah is lamenting the loss of music and dance. Why do I like that?
Because many people through the years and to this very day declare some forms of music, especially modern music, as evil, the work of the devil. Generally the music declared to be evil is music that doesn’t suit the declarer’s taste. Continue reading
If you read some of my posts you may know that every morning I read a few chapters of my Bible and I have been doing this for a number of years. I’ve read it cover to cover a number of times. Sometimes I read it in order from page 1 to the end and sometimes I skip around from book to book.
The other day while reading my Bible I got to thinking about how big of a role God played in people’s lives when these books were written and then as the years go by (thousands of them) God has a smaller and smaller role.
I think about the book of Psalms. The whole book is King David talking to God either through poetry or songs. 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
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
What is James talking about in these verses? He is talking about personal responsibility.
He is telling us that temptation and sin are of our own doing. We are not puppets and God is pulling the strings. We are all free individuals able to make our own decisions and choices. And with freedom comes responsibility, personal responsibility. Continue reading
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the entire Bible and King Solomon is one of my favorite persons in the Old Testament.
The above passage talks about the most recurring theme from all of King Solomon’s writing.
The theme that’s been my words to live by, which is summed up in verse 13. Continue reading
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
This verse caught my attention when I read it. What made me stop and write it down was the paradigm shift I had when I read it.
I originally thought this verse to mean you think and act according to worldly wants and desires and you pay the price. You think and act of God and you are saved.
I still believe that, but this time I saw an affirmation of my belief in the simplicity of life and God. I saw the simplicity of getting your relationship with God and in doing so you are filled with the energy, the will, the Holy Spirit of God. Continue reading
And the Lord said, because these people draw near with their mouth
And honor me with their lips
While their hearts are far from me
And their fear of me is a commandment taught by men
When I read these lines I wrote down the book, chapter and verse. At the time I wasn’t quite sure why I wanted to remember this verse I just knew I did.
The more I read it I came to the conclusion that I wanted to remember this one because it prophesizes my disillusion with the organizations that call themselves a church.
This verse is Isaiah telling the people of God’s disdain, for they are just going through the motions. They have God on their lips but not in their hearts. Continue reading