“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?
Haggai was one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. I wondered why a prophet would be referred to as a minor prophet. It seemed to me that saying he was a minor prophet was like saying you had a minor heart attack. There’s nothing minor about a heart attack, just like there’s nothing minor about a prophet of God. Continue reading
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
2 Kings 6:24-29
Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver. Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” And he said, “If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.”
I read these verses and was a bit taken back by the matter of fact telling of this story. Try to imagine having to go through something like this. Try to imagine the brutality and inhumanity that is sited in stories like this and others from the Old Testament. It’s quite stunning. Continue reading
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
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
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
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