Thus says the Lord:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the Lord,
and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
If you were to read the verse that precedes Jeremiah 31:16 you would know that verse sixteen is God speaking about Rachel, whom I guess you could say is the matriarch of the Israelites. Rachel was one of Jacob’s two wives. Jacob became Israel, who was the patriarch of the Israelites. Rachel had trouble bearing children, but eventually was able to conceive and bear Joseph and Benjamin, two of the twelve that make up the tribes of Israel.
In verse fifteen, Rachel is said to be weeping for her children. These verses were written hundreds of years after Rachel’s death, so they are referring to the descendants of Jacob that were now being plundered and taken into captivity. 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
“Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.
“Moab has been at ease from his youth
and has settled on his dregs;
he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
nor has he gone into exile;
so his taste remains in him,
and his scent is not changed.
“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I shall send to him pourers who will pour him, and empty his vessels and break his jars in pieces.
When I first read these verses I jotted down the word, “stagnant”. I wasn’t sure why that word came to mind, it was just my gut instinct. So I thought I do some research about these verses and see what others had to say. By others, I mean biblical scholars, and of all the ones I read, I most understood the commentaries of John Gill. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 15:35-38
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
In these verses Paul is answering the question many nonbelievers and believers ask about the resurrection. It is a very difficult concept for humans to wrap their heads around, especially when asked from a worldly point of view. Even though I have faith and belief in Christ and the resurrection, I still have a hard time understanding what it is or what it will be. Continue reading
Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
This is Isaiah summing up man.
In Isaiah 48, Isaiah is telling the Israelites how God has shown them miracles, brought them out of bondage, and informed them of the consequences of their actions. God reminds them that all the things told to them and shown to them have come to pass. The Israelites knew of the consequences of their actions and chose to ignore them, they turned to man-made idols for their salvation. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 10:29
I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?
Paul asks the question, why should another person dictate to me my sense of right and wrong? God has endowed us with an innate sense of right and wrong. This sense, is only changed by the world. We become driven by the world, its desires and pitfalls. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 7:17
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
The Bible verses I cite are taken from the English Standard Version. In the ESV, titles are given to different sections. The section which verse 17 begins is titled; “Live As You Are Called”.
I really like that title, and I think that could be the mantra for every one of us. It’s like a mission statement for each individual. Paul is telling us that we are all unique individuals and each one of us has our own talents, quirks, ways of thinking and no one way is the only right way; except the way of love and righteousness. Continue reading