Express Yourself

Express Yourself

Jeremiah 31:4

Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
    O virgin Israel!
Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
    and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.

Jeremiah 31:12-13

They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
    and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
    and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden,
    and they shall languish no more.
 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
    and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy;
    I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

This post isn’t very long.  All I want to do is site some more examples of how making and listening to music is referenced in the Bible for expressing emotions, mainly joy and celebration. Continue reading

A Low Whisper

A Low Whisper

1 King 19:9-15

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.  And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.

The prophet Elijah has fled to a cave to hide from the persecution of Jezebel.  Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab who did not walk in the way of the Lord.  Jezebel had slaughtered the prophets of God, except for one hundred who Obadiah, the overseer of Ahab’s household hid in caves. Continue reading

Just A Feel Good Word

Just A Feel Good Word

Lamentations 3:34-39

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

God’s Gift To You

God’s Gift To You

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

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

God’s Offspring

God’s Offspring

Acts 17:21-31

Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

I read this story and was intrigued by the twenty first verse that talks about the Athenians and foreigners who “would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new”.

I assume the writer is trying to convey to the reader that these were opened minded people and willing to listen to anything they hadn’t heard before.  This was fertile ground for Paul to spread his words.

Paul tries to enlighten them and what he says about God is how I felt for years. Continue reading

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:5

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

Preconceived Expectations

Preconceived Expectations

In the Second Book of Kings, Chapter 5, there is the story of Naaman and Elisha.

Elisha was the understudy of the prophet Elijah and when Elijah slept with his fathers, Elisha became the man of God, the prophet.  Naaman was the commander of the army for the king of Syria and he was held in high regard by his king.

At that time the Syrian army had been making raids into Israel (see how long this stuff had been going on in the Middle East) and one of the captives was a little girl who ended up working for Naaman.

Naaman is described in the Bible as a valiant man, but he was a leper.  The girl from Israel knew of the prophet Elisha and told Naaman’s wife about him.  The little girl told her that Elisha could cure her husband. Continue reading