We Abandon God

We Abandon God

Lamentations 3:31-33

For the Lord will not
    cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
    or grieve the children of men.

I have previously written about Lamentations, Chapter 3, verses 25 through 27.  In that post I wrote about seeking God and the consequences of your actions.  I then followed that post by writing about verses 28 through 30, which was about taking the responsibility for the consequences of your actions and then learning from those consequences.

Now today I want to write about the three verses at the beginning of this post, Lamentations, Chapter 3, verses 31 through 33. Continue reading

Bear The Yoke

Bear The Yoke

Lamentations 3:28-30

Let him sit alone in silence,
    for the Lord has laid it on him.
Let him bury his face in the dust—
    there may yet be hope.
Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,

    and let him be filled with disgrace.

This post is a follow-up to my post, Waiting For You.  In that post I wrote about verses 25 through 27 which precede the above verses.  I wrote about the long, never-ending journey of seeking the Lord, and how you find the Lord bit by bit each day.  The Lord is always there waiting for us to find God.  The post also referenced, “bearing the yoke” of consequences of your decisions, particularly your bad decisions.  It is better to suffer and learn in your youth when you have time to recover.

In these next three verses, 28 through 30, Jeremiah talks about how bearing the consequences of our actions, we must look inward, take our share of blame and learn.

Let him sit alone in silence,
    for the Lord has laid it on him.

God has given us a conscience and we know what is right and what is wrong.  We have the inherent ability to distinguish between good and evil.  Some of us just choose to ignore it, or allow our hearts to be filled with worldly desires, and ignore the yoke of the consequences.  But those who bear the yoke realized they have wronged and sinned, hurting others and themselves.

To seek righteousness and improve as human beings we must sit alone and place the blame on our shoulders, just as a yoke is placed on an oxen.

Circumstances vary and are outside of our control, but how we react, what we do, is our responsibility.  We can share with others our mistake and seek solace, but the consequences are ours to sit alone in silence and ponder.

Let him bury his face in the dust—
    there may yet be hope.

When we take on this responsibility for our actions and sins, we feel hurt and sorrow that causes us to double over on the inside.  When we let the pain of our sins sink in that deep, we then realize we must correct ourselves and take control of our actions. We must seek God in our heart, find righteousness, and try not to sin again.

We will sin again, but as we learn from the suffering of the consequences there is hope.  We will recover and learn.  We will learn how to avoid sin.  The more you live your life, the more you seek God and righteousness, the better you become at finding God and righteousness.

Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
    and let him be filled with disgrace.

Again Jeremiah is lamenting to us to take responsibility for our sins.  Do not shift the blame.  You are responsible for your actions and must learn that the only person who can bring disgrace upon you is you.  No one else can force you to sin. You control you and are responsible for you.  This is the yoke that God has placed on each of us.  Your mistakes and sin are your burden, placed there by you and only you can lift them.

Sit alone in silence, bury your face in the dust, and realize the one who strikes your cheek in disgrace is you.  Then you will begin to learn.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cannot Escape The Law

Cannot Escape The Law

Isaiah 24:1-2

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

They Deal With It.

They Deal With It.

Isaiah 1:2-3

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;

for the Lord has spoken:

“Children have I reared and brought up,

but they have rebelled against me.

The ox knows its owner,

and the donkey its master’s crib,

but Israel does not know,

my people do not understand.”

Isaiah was a prophet in the Old Testament who lived his life 700 years before the birth of Christ.  Isaiah is regarded as one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament because of his foretelling of Christ.  The best know prophesy from Isaiah would be 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 1:2-3 attracted me because of it’s reference to people rebelling against God because of their arrogance.  Isaiah writes that the people, who have been given this gift of life, now rebel against God.  God has given life to man, brought Israel out of bondage, removed those intent on destroying Israel, given them judges and kings.  God has given them all of this and prosperity and yet they turn to idols and false gods. Continue reading

Blood On The Watchman

Blood On The Watchman

Ezekiel 33:1-6

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

The Consequences Of Our Actions

The Consequences Of Our Actions

Suffering the consequences of our actions, I believe that is one of the laws of nature.

We are taught this when we are children.  Eat your supper or no TV, or more like eat your supper or there will be no Xbox or internet.

Anyone raised by even half caring parents knows there were consequences to what you did.  Make a bad decision about homework, staying out late, back talk a teacher or parent and you paid the price.

It’s what kept us in line until we learned acceptable and respectful behavior. Continue reading

Why Didn’t They Call

Why Didn’t They Call

This is a quick post about a piece I read in the news a few weeks ago.

I read an article about some protesters who got fired from their jobs and of course they were pissed off.

At first you would think they were being denied their first amendment right to free speech.  You might think maybe their employer didn’t agree with what they were protesting and decided to fire them.

But then I read further and discovered the reason for their dismissal was they never bothered to inform their boss that they would not be coming to work. Continue reading