Give Your Best

Give Your Best

Malachi 1:13-14

But you say, ‘What a weariness this is”, and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD.  Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

I’m just about all the way through the Old Testament on this go round with the Bible.

This verse spoke to me beyond the literal interpretation.

Animal sacrifices are obviously an antiquated idea.

They existed in Biblical times to drive home the seriousness of sin.  Through these sacrifices you atoned or paid for your sin.

The price was steep.  You sacrificed your best. You sacrificed your unblemished, your males who could produce quality off spring, the males that could grow your flock and enrich your wealth.

You give your best to God because God comes first.  By not giving your best you anger God and hurt yourself. Continue reading

Words We Want To Hear

Words We Want To Hear

Jeremiah 10:3-5

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

Seek God – The First Law

Seek God – The First Law

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

Fear Of A Gift Wasted

Fear Of A Gift Wasted

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Okay, so I’m beating this to death, but I feel this phrase, “the fear of the Lord” is very important.  At least it is to me and my life.

I previously wrote how this phrase turns up numerous times in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament.  And I have written how this phrase is misconstrued.  Most concepts of “the fear of the Lord” are, a being of human form, floating above in the clouds, looking down, just waiting for us to screw up.  But if you read any of my previous posts on this phrase you know that’s not what it’s about. Continue reading

The Sins Of The Father

The Sins Of The Father

Ezekiel 18:20

The soul who sins shall die.  The son shall not suffer the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son.  The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

That’s some pretty powerful stuff right there.

Ezekiel the Old Testament prophet is laying down some twenty first century wisdom.  Actually it’s eternal wisdom that will apply throughout time.

What Ezekiel is saying is you are in charge and you are responsible for all you do and all that happens to you.  Not the government, not the church, not your family, not your friends, not your enemies, but you and only you are responsible.

Your righteousness and your wickedness are yours to own.  You own it, no one else does, no matter what you think of say. Continue reading

Seek God – The First Law

Seek God – The First Law

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

Psalms 90:10-12

Psalms 90:10-12

Psalms 90:10-12

The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.

How powerful are these words from Psalms?

I don’t care if you do or don’t believe in God or whatever form of God or superior being you worship or deny.  There is no denying the power of these words.

Of course I had to write this verse down when I read it.

When you’re younger this doesn’t mean much but as you age and as the seventy years become a hell of a lot closer to you than when you were twenty or thirty, words like these start to take on a whole new meaning.

This is my take on what King David is trying to tell himself with this verse.  Note his honesty, David has written this for himself, a reflection on his life.  He was one of the most powerful individuals on the earth at the time yet he does not delude himself. Continue reading