“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
After I read these verses I wrote the verse numbers on a slip of paper that I keep on the nightstand by my bed. I keep paper and pen there for just such an occasion. The note that I wrote about these verses was just two words; habits and diligence. Continue reading
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Just a quick post about this short, simple and eloquent verse.
In the verses preceding this verse, Christ is instructing his disciples before they are sent out to preach the word of God. Christ sends his messengers out into the world with nothing, no worldly things. He tells them that while they are traveling and delivering the gospel to receive nothing more than what they need to sustain life. Christ instructs them to forsake worldly items and desires. Continue reading
All you beasts of the field, come to devour—
all you beasts in the forest.
His watchmen are blind;
they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent dogs;
they cannot bark,
dreaming, lying down,
loving to slumber.
The dogs have a mighty appetite;
they never have enough.
But they are shepherds who have no understanding;
they have all turned to their own way,
each to his own gain, one and all.
“Come,” they say, “let me get wine;
let us fill ourselves with strong drink;
and tomorrow will be like this day,
great beyond measure.”
The heading of these verses in the English Standard Version of the Bible is “Israel’s Irresponsible Leaders”.
Isaiah is speaking to Israel who has stop walking in the way of the Lord. Isaiah is pointing out that their deviation from God and righteousness is coming from the top down. He is speaking of leaders who have turned from doing what is right for the people and are only doing what is best for the leaders’ own benefit. And of course if you have read some of my previous posts you will know that I see this ancient commentary on society as being as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Continue reading
On a high and lofty mountain
you have set your bed,
and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the door and the doorpost
you have set up your memorial;
for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,
you have gone up to it,
you have made it wide;
and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,
you have loved their bed,
you have looked on nakedness.
Isaiah starts Chapter 51 of his book with this verse:
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord….
Isaiah prophesied about the pending destruction of Judah and the Jews being carried off into captivity by the king of Babylon. Those captured and enslaved will be the lucky ones, the others are set to be destroyed by pestilence, famine and the sword. Continue reading
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
Ask and it will be given…
Many think, that according to this verse, all you have to do is pray really hard and voila, there it will be. Then after taking this naïve approach, they are extremely disappointed when it doesn’t appear before their eyes or happen as planned. Continue reading
1 Peter 3:17
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
I read this verse and the first thing that came to mind was one of my favorite old sayings; “No good deed goes unpunished.”
There is no known origin for this phrase, although it’s been attributed to the likes of Billy Wilder, Andrew Mellon and Oscar Wilde. Continue reading
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Many who read these verses would say that Christ is telling us to not judge others and their actions. I agree. But I had a different train of thought when reading these verses today, and it’s the same thought I’ve had throughout the New Testament and the Bible. It’s the teaching and emphasis of the individual and the individual’s self responsibility. Continue reading
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
The Book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah. He is lamenting, or mourning the destruction of Israel.
In these verses, Jeremiah talks about patience and diligence. Continue reading
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
2 Corinthians 10:12
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
In this verse, Paul tells us that we are all individuals. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, to compare each other and make judgements about individuals as compared to others or the group, well that’s just vanity. It’s folly, like the old phrase apples to oranges. Continue reading