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
(This is a copy of the letter that they sent.) “To Artaxerxes the king: Your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations. Now be it known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be impaired. Now because we eat the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king’s dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king, in order that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. You will find in the book of the records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from of old. That was why this city was laid waste. We make known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.”
I found this letter to be interesting because it confirms what I have said about protests and symbolism.
Protest accomplish nothing. All of the signs, speeches,demonstrations, catchy little phrases and hash tags, don’t make a difference. They just make you feel better about yourself. You say; See, I did something, I wore this color, I wore this wristband, I stood or I kneeled with my hand in the air. I did my part. I’m helping. I’m special. Continue reading
I wrote a note to myself after I read this chapter and what I wrote was, “Daniel 5, the part about becoming proud”.
I looked at this note a couple of days later. I was looking for some post ideas. When I looked at it I wasn’t sure why I wrote it down or what I meant so I placed the note in the back of my journal.
Over the next couple of weeks I kept bypassing this note. I would look at it, not get what I meant by the note and move on to another one.
Finally as I started running short of new ideas I decided to go back and re read Daniel 5 and see if I could figure out what it was I wanted to say when I wrote the cryptic note. Continue reading
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
I read this story and was intrigued by the twenty first verse that talks about the Athenians and foreigners who “would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new”.
I assume the writer is trying to convey to the reader that these were opened minded people and willing to listen to anything they hadn’t heard before. This was fertile ground for Paul to spread his words.
Paul tries to enlighten them and what he says about God is how I felt for years. Continue reading
All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
I am intrigued by the story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and their dissatisfaction with the Lord and all that was done for them.
The Jews suffered under the bondage of the Egyptians. They cried out to be delivered. The Lord hears their cries and sends them Moses.
This is what the Lord and Moses do. Continue reading