The Individual

The Individual

Micah 4:4

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

Meat In A Pot

Meat In A Pot

Micah 3:1-3

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

A Shekel and a Pair of Shoes

A Shekel and a Pair of Shoes

Amos 8:4-6

Hear this, you who trample on the needy
    and bring the poor of the land to an end,
saying, “When will the new moon be over,
    that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
    that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great
    and deal deceitfully with false balances,
that we may buy the poor for silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals
    and sell the chaff of the wheat?”

Many will read these verses and assume that they are in reference to corrupt corporations looking to make a buck by oppressing the poor.  It sounds like that when you only read verses 4 and 5.  But when you read verse 6 you realize who Amos is really referring to in these verses. Continue reading

Magic Stones

Magic Stones

Proverbs 17:8

A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;

wherever he turns he prospers.

King Solomon understood politics.  This verse is the very essence of politics, as it is now and as it will always be.  No matter which side, this verse is politics.

Here is the Merriam Webster definition of politics:

  • The art or science of government.
  • The art or science concerned with guiding or influencing government policy.
  • The art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government.

Number three got me, winning and holding control over a government.  It’s not about doing what is right, or doing what is best for the people being governed.  Most of the time what is right and what is best is unpopular.  Being unpopular never got anyone elected. Continue reading

Every Man Under His Vine

Every Man Under His Vine

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.

When I read this it reminded me of my post “Candy Cried” which referenced the scene in “Of Mice and Men” where all the misfits were gathered in one place and talking about their collective passion.  All they wanted was a little piece of land to call their own.  A place in life to work and reap their rewards, a place to be left alone. Continue reading

For Comfort and Convenience

For Comfort and Convenience

1 Samuel 8 is the story of Israel going to Samuel and demanding he appoint a king to rule over them.

At that time Israel had Judges who weren’t kings or supreme rulers.  They were chosen by God to help deliver Israel from oppression, administer justice, and settle disputes according to the laws given to Moses.  So they were called Judges.

They were a kind of government but somewhat sporadic.  Israel had the laws of God to follow and in doing so there was little use for a formal government other than the aforementioned settling of disputes, etc.

Samuel was the last of the Judges of Israel.  When he became too old to continue in his duties he appointed his two sons to be Israel’s new Judges, but the boys were corrupt.

In 1 Samuel 8:4-5 the elders of Israel come to Samuel to let him know they are fed up with his sons and their corruption.  And after seeing how neighboring nations had a king to rule over them, well the elders wanted one too. Continue reading

Power, Corruption, Sin, Truth

Power, Corruption, Sin, Truth

Jeremiah 26:10-11

When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

What has Jeremiah said or done to make the officials of Judah want to have him perish?  Well, let’s look back at Jeremiah 26:4-6: Continue reading