Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
Solomon is writing about the evil that exists in the world. When I read these verses I wrote the following note to myself: “Evil always has and always will exist in the world.” Solomon writes that those who are dead and those who have not been born are better off than the living. Why does he say this? Because from birth to death we will always come in contact with evil. Only those who no longer exist or those who never existed will be void of evil. Continue reading
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
I think this verse is one of the most misquoted verses of the Bible.
I know as a child and a teenager I often misquoted this verse and I remember my grandmother correcting me.
Most people paraphrase this verse especially when trying to make a compelling case against corporations, profits and capitalism.
They will leave out the one key word. They will say “Money is the root of all evil”. But if you read above, you will notice they omitted “love”. Continue reading
1 Kings 20:11
And the king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.’”
When I read this verse I knew I liked it but it took me a couple of times it to understand the simple message that King Ahab, the king of Israel, was conveying to King Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria.
King Ben-Hadad had gathered all his forces together, which included the armies of thirty two other kings. That must have been a substantial military force. For some reason Ben-Hadad wanted to conquer Samaria which was part of Israel and part of King Ahab’s domain. Ben-Hadad massed all his forces around Samaria and was ready to attack. Continue reading
For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
These verses follow “The Parable of the Talents” which I have written about before. (Using Your Talent) The parable is about wasting a life, the gift of life, through covetousness, worry or fear. In verse 29 Christ sums up this law of nature, or the law of the balance of the universe.
But reading these verses also brought to mind another thought which I wrote down as not to forget. My note was: “downfall of the welfare state”. Continue reading
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Chapter 18 begins with the Disciples asking Jesus a rather odd question, or at least it seems odd to me. They ask, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” I’m not sure what they are asking. Are they wondering if Moses, Elijah, or Isaiah holds the most power? I don’t know, but it demonstrates that the Disciples, like all of us, couldn’t truly forsake worldly thoughts and ideas. It shows a thinking of class warfare. The poor versus, the middle, versus the upper class, versus the royalty. And it reveals a concern about what other individuals think. Continue reading
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Just a quick post about this short, simple and eloquent verse.
In the verses preceding this verse, Christ is instructing his disciples before they are sent out to preach the word of God. Christ sends his messengers out into the world with nothing, no worldly things. He tells them that while they are traveling and delivering the gospel to receive nothing more than what they need to sustain life. Christ instructs them to forsake worldly items and desires. Continue reading
Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
making you desolate because of your sins.
You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
You shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
Micah is explaining to Israel the consequences of their actions. They have abandoned God and forsaken righteousness for the pleasures and treasures of the world. Israel did in ancient times as we do today. We abandon the spirit to please the flesh. For the want of simple worldly things, we bypass righteousness and the work involved, and we do what we rationalize as necessary to make our existence comfortable and easy. Continue reading