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
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
“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
I made a note about these three verses but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. Now, as I read them and begin to write this piece, I realize just how simple a message it is, yet so eloquently stated.
In the English Standard Version of the Bible, these verses are titled, “What Does the Lord Require?” Continue reading
but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
When I read this verse, I thought that I had already written about it. But as I reviewed my previous writings, I discovered the verse I had already written about was this one from 1 Kings 4:25.
And Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon.
I referenced this verse from 1 Kings in my post, “Every Man Under His Vine”, and in that post I referenced another post which was titled, “Candy Cried”. The thought in these posts and verses, is of an individual having a place in life to live as an individual, a place to sow and reap the fruits of their labor. Continue reading
Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you.
I read this proverb and thought about the balance of the universe.
King Solomon is telling us that evil will be repaid by the universe, there is no need to take matters into your own hands. Especially since our response would be futile since we do not have control over the balance. The balance is there, always has been and always will be. Continue reading
And I said:
Hear, you heads of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel!
Is it not for you to know justice?—
you who hate the good and love the evil,
who tear the skin from off my people
and their flesh from off their bones,
who eat the flesh of my people,
and flay their skin from off them,
and break their bones in pieces
and chop them up like meat in a pot,
like flesh in a cauldron.
This will be a short post. There’s not a whole lot more that needs to be said about the words that Micah is conveying to the leaders of ancient Israel. Micah is simply informing them of what many Old Testament prophets have said. He is telling Israel of their pending disaster, the consequences they are going to suffer for their actions, their sins.
Maybe his descriptions in verses two and three seem harsh, but what corrupt leaders and governments do to their people is harsh. Continue reading
Numbers 22 – 24
Numbers Chapters 22 through 24 is the story about Balak the king of Moab and Balaam a prophet who was not an Israelite.
Balak saw the Israelites approaching the plains of Moab. Balak knew what the Israelites had done to the Amorites, which was slaughter them when Sihon the king of the Amorites would not allow the Israelites to peacefully pass through his land. Being aware of the power of the Israelites, Balak decides to enlist the help of Balaam. He sends his servants and princes to Balaam and asks Balaam to come to Moab and curse the Israelites.
God interceded and told Balaam not to go. Balaam told the elders of Moab to inform Balak that he would not do this. Continue reading