for the customs of the peoples are vanity.
A tree from the forest is cut down
and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
for they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.”
The theme of these verses seems to be a common one throughout the Old Testament. False idols, and the destruction of a nation that turns to them is reported throughout the Bible, especially in the books of the prophets.
I have written a number of times about false gods and idolatry, and this will be another piece on that subject. I’m sure there will be a few more times I will write about this, since I am currently reading the book of Jeremiah and still have fifteen more books to go in the Old Testatment. Continue reading
Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
This is part of Moses’s speech to Israel as they are about to pass into the land of Jordan after wandering in the wilderness for forty years.
Moses and God are reminding the Israelites and us of the importance of humility. Continue reading
Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
This is Isaiah summing up man.
In Isaiah 48, Isaiah is telling the Israelites how God has shown them miracles, brought them out of bondage, and informed them of the consequences of their actions. God reminds them that all the things told to them and shown to them have come to pass. The Israelites knew of the consequences of their actions and chose to ignore them, they turned to man-made idols for their salvation. Continue reading
This is a follow up to my previous post “For Comfort and Convenience”. The post was about how the Israelites were willing to give up a piece of their freedom for a king. They still wanted a king even after being duly warned by Samuel. They wanted someone to fight their battles, someone to give them comfort and convenience and they were willing to give up a piece of their freedom.
After writing that post, I began to think more about a verse in 1 Samuel 8, verse 7.
And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.
God says, “but they have rejected me from being king over them”. Continue reading
You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn.
Here is the commentary of biblical scholar Matthew Henry in regards to this verse.
“This is a charge to husbandmen. It teaches us to make much of the animals that serve us. But we must learn, not only to be just, but kind to all who are employed for the good of our better part, our souls.”
“Be kind to all who are employed..” Continue reading
See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
These six verses are what follows the verses I wrote about in my previous post It Is In Our Hearts. In verse 11 through 14 Moses tells the people of Israel that the word of God is very near. It is in your heart and in your mouth.
In verses 15 through 20 Moses continues by letting the Israelites know how simple life really is. Continue reading
For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Moses is giving the Israelites the commandments of God before they make their trip into the Promised Land, a trip which Moses will not make.
These verses hold a special meaning for me. Continue reading