To crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the earth,
to deny a man justice
in the presence of the Most High,
to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
the Lord does not approve.
Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Why should a living man complain,
a man, about the punishment of his sins?
When I read these verses, I am reminded of the arrogance of man and so is Jeremiah who wrote these lamentations for Israel. I am reminded of the arrogance of people who assume that all justice is defined as they see it. I am talking about the arrogance of those who think that punishment is to be doled out to their own sense of revenge. The assumption that they are the sole proprietors of making the determination of the punishment to fit the crime. People believe they are the center of the universe and therefore the balance is of their doing and it is to be to their satisfaction. But we are only a mere sub atomic particle in the infinity of space.
Justice is very subjective. Continue reading
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Months ago I wrote a piece titled, Household Gods. In that post I referenced Zachariah 10:2, in which Zachariah speaks of household gods who utter nonsense and diviners who see lies, tell false dreams and give empty consolation. I wrote about how the household gods of today, gods that are not carved images setting in a little shrine tucked away in the corner, but are setting in a prominent place. These modern day household gods are showcased on a 40, 55, 60 and 72 inch or larger screen. Continue reading
for the customs of the peoples are vanity.
A tree from the forest is cut down
and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
for they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.”
The theme of these verses seems to be a common one throughout the Old Testament. False idols, and the destruction of a nation that turns to them is reported throughout the Bible, especially in the books of the prophets.
I have written a number of times about false gods and idolatry, and this will be another piece on that subject. I’m sure there will be a few more times I will write about this, since I am currently reading the book of Jeremiah and still have fifteen more books to go in the Old Testatment. Continue reading
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
Ask and it will be given…
Many think, that according to this verse, all you have to do is pray really hard and voila, there it will be. Then after taking this naïve approach, they are extremely disappointed when it doesn’t appear before their eyes or happen as planned. Continue reading
“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
Job and his friends are trying to find the answer to why Job, a very righteous man, has suffered horrific losses. He lost all his wealth and possessions, his family has been killed, except his wife, and his body is covered in boils and sores.
Jobs friends are convinced it must be retribution from God for a great sin or sins. Job is steadfast in his declaration of innocence and righteousness, and he is correct. Job is convinced it is some horrible trick being played on him by God. Throughout the Book of Job the men are professing to know why God has done this to Job.
Job’s friends proclaiming their knowledge of God demonstrates the arrogance of man. Continue reading
In those days they shall no longer say:
“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
When I read these verses two words came into my head. We’ll talk about that a little later in this piece.
In ancient times it was thought that the sins of the father, or the “eating of the sour grapes” as referred to in these verses, were paid for by their children and their succeeding generations. When the Israelites we’re conquered and carried off to Babylon the children were paying for the sins of their fathers. But many of those children were also eating the sour grapes. Much like their fathers, the children continued the idolatry and worshiping of false gods. They continued the abominations practiced by their parents. Continue reading
“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
Thus says the Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
“Ask me of things to come;
will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?
I made the earth
and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.
Before I sat down to write this post I read some commentaries about theses verses, in order to get a better understanding of what Isaiah is saying, and to whom these words are directed.
Isaiah is speaking to the Jews who are grumbling against God. They are complaining about how God has allowed them to be taken into captivity before sending them salvation. Some of them are wondering why God didn’t just cut out all the drama and turmoil of being enslaved by foreign invaders and just save them from being captured in the first place. Continue reading