I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me
This is God talking to King Cyrus.
In this verse God is reminding Cyrus where his power and authority come from. God reminds Cyrus not to get too full of himself and start thinking of himself as a god.
As king of Persia, Cyrus conquered Babylon which was a great power at the time. So Cyrus was a pretty powerful king to conquer such a powerful nation. Continue reading
All you beasts of the field, come to devour—
all you beasts in the forest.
His watchmen are blind;
they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent dogs;
they cannot bark,
dreaming, lying down,
loving to slumber.
The dogs have a mighty appetite;
they never have enough.
But they are shepherds who have no understanding;
they have all turned to their own way,
each to his own gain, one and all.
“Come,” they say, “let me get wine;
let us fill ourselves with strong drink;
and tomorrow will be like this day,
great beyond measure.”
The heading of these verses in the English Standard Version of the Bible is “Israel’s Irresponsible Leaders”.
Isaiah is speaking to Israel who has stop walking in the way of the Lord. Isaiah is pointing out that their deviation from God and righteousness is coming from the top down. He is speaking of leaders who have turned from doing what is right for the people and are only doing what is best for the leaders’ own benefit. And of course if you have read some of my previous posts you will know that I see this ancient commentary on society as being as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Continue reading
It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of drought;
but when they had grazed, they became full,
they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
therefore they forgot me.
I thought there wasn’t a whole lot to right about this verse, I just really liked it.
I really like how the ancient texts from the Bible are still applicable and will always be applicable throughout man’s existence. Continue reading
And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
and inscribe it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come
as a witness forever.
For they are a rebellious people,
children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lord;
who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
I thought these verses coincided with much of what I see in the world today. I guess it’s always been like this.
Israel is seeking salvation from Egypt, which would upset anyone who knows their history with Egypt. Here is a people who were previously enslaved by the Egyptians and now they are willing to buy protection from the Egyptians. They are willing to potentially give up their freedom in order to have the perception of being safe. Continue reading
A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
I read this and thought how far we have moved away from this basic law, rule, guideline, whatever you choose to call it.
The purpose of this law in the ancient times of Israel is self-evident.
You can’t accept the accusations of one person against another. As humans we all, at some point have had an ax to grind with someone along the way. And malicious or not we all just blurt out stupid nonsensical things. Continue reading
Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
Sabbath – a day of rest as commanded by God in the Ten Commandments. So important is the concept of rest and renewal, that is was in the top five of all the laws given to the Jews by God.
As a child I remember how everything, except for a few restaurants, shut down on Sunday. It was one day during the week you knew everything was closed and if you were a working man it was the one day you were sure to have off. Continue reading
I thought today, since I am writing about the book of Ecclesiastes, I would start from the beginning. The very first verse tells us in a sort of cryptic way about the author of this book. They refer to themselves as the Preacher. Most people believe that person to be King Solomon.
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
If you take this verse at it’s face value, the son of David and King in Jerusalem was Solomon. Some say that “son” may refer to the lineage of King David, but I’ll keep it simple and stick with Solomon as the Preacher. Who wrote the book isn’t as important as the lessons being taught in this book. King Solomon starts teaching from the first verses. Continue reading