Thus says the Lord:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the Lord,
and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
If you were to read the verse that precedes Jeremiah 31:16 you would know that verse sixteen is God speaking about Rachel, whom I guess you could say is the matriarch of the Israelites. Rachel was one of Jacob’s two wives. Jacob became Israel, who was the patriarch of the Israelites. Rachel had trouble bearing children, but eventually was able to conceive and bear Joseph and Benjamin, two of the twelve that make up the tribes of Israel.
In verse fifteen, Rachel is said to be weeping for her children. These verses were written hundreds of years after Rachel’s death, so they are referring to the descendants of Jacob that were now being plundered and taken into captivity. Continue reading
Joel 1: 2-3
Hear this, you elders;
give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has such a thing happened in your days,
or in the days of your fathers?
Tell your children of it,
and let your children tell their children,
and their children to another generation.
The English Standard Version Bible titles Chapter 1 of the Book of Joel as, “An Invasion of Locust”. Joel is referring to the outside invaders of Jerusalem, who will plunder and carry off the nation of Israel to Babylon. Joel poetically describes the destruction of a once great and powerful nation and its reduction to rubble. He begins his lament with a warning to the elders of Israel, advising them to be sure they record this disaster and share it with future generations. It’s basically the old adage, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Continue reading
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
God is telling Ezekiel he is the watchman for Israel and if he follows through by warning them of their impending doom then he will have no blood on his hands. But if he fails to warn them he is just as guilty as those that God is going to destroy.
To me this also speaks about our personal responsibilities. Continue reading
2 Chronicles 30:18-19
For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.”
Hezekiah was the thirteenth king of Judah. According to the Old Testament, he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Hezekiah cleansed and restored the temple of the Lord and returned Judah to the laws and traditions as set down by Moses. This included the celebration of the Passover.
Many people came from tribes outside of Judah to celebrate the Passover. They had not consecrated or cleansed themselves per the laws of Moses. Hezekiah understood what was truly important about this feast. It was a milestone for all the tribes of Israel to be returning to their laws and traditions and once again celebrate the Passover. He knew it wasn’t about following processes and procedures. It wasn’t about having all your I’s dotted and T’s crossed. 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
1 Kings 20:11
And the king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.’”
When I read this verse I knew I liked it but it took me a couple of times it to understand the simple message that King Ahab, the king of Israel, was conveying to King Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria.
King Ben-Hadad had gathered all his forces together, which included the armies of thirty two other kings. That must have been a substantial military force. For some reason Ben-Hadad wanted to conquer Samaria which was part of Israel and part of King Ahab’s domain. Ben-Hadad massed all his forces around Samaria and was ready to attack. Continue reading
When their drink is gone they give themselves to whoring, their rulers dearly love shame.
I knew what this meant to me when I first read it and wrote down the verse. But I thought I would read what scholarly people think of it and compare my thoughts with theirs.
The scholars and theologians say this verse deals with the tribe of Ephraim, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, that has become a bunch of drunks, alcoholics, the people along with their leaders.
That may be true for the times this book was written but here is my modern day assessment of this verse.
Society today loves its “feel good”. Continue reading