The Great Light

The Great Light

Isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,

on them has light shone.

Biblical scholars’ commentaries on this verse say that Isaiah is referring to the defeat of the Assyrian army and that the great light mention may be referring to the coming of Christ.

I thought differently when I read this verse and decided to write about it. Continue reading

Twinkies and Candy Bars

Twinkies and Candy Bars

Isaiah 55:1-2

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.

 “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”  That is a question we all should ask ourselves every day, and then we should honestly answer it. Continue reading

Vexation And Sorrow In Knowledge

Vexation And Sorrow In Knowledge

Ecclesiastes 1:13-14

And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

When I read this verse I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about it, but I knew I had to write something.

King Solomon decided to seek as much wisdom and knowledge as he could about what goes on in the world.  Solomon says he is going to “apply his heart” which means his very essence and being, to seeking this knowledge.  This is his life’s quest. Continue reading

Sow For Yourself

Sow For Yourself

Hosea 10:12-13

Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap steadfast love;
    break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the Lord,
    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

You have plowed iniquity;
    you have reaped injustice;
    you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your own way
    and in the multitude of your warriors,

 When Hosea became a prophet, the first thing he was instructed to do by God was to make a prostitute his wife.  He was then told to have children with his adulterous wife.  This was to signify how Israel had whored after false Gods, seeking pleasures of the flesh over the love of righteousness. These two verses are another example of self responsibility and the individual having to bear the consequences of their actions.

In verse twelve Hosea speaks of reaping what you sow.  You sow righteousness and you reap steadfast love, and if you plow iniquity, you reap what you perceive as injustice.  These consequences are the results of your actions.

Hosea says that after reaping injustice, we then eat the fruit of our own lies.  This is when we rationalize away our sin and deny that the consequences we suffer are from our own doings.  We trust our arrogance and pride.  We believe that the consequences are just random acts of the universe and have nothing to do with our actions and decisions.

We also believe and eat the lies of others.  We believe others who tell us that it’s not our fault and that our consequences are the result of the actions of others.  We love the victim, for it allows us to deceive ourselves and absolve ourselves of bad decisions, questionable actions, and sin.

It all comes down to the first line in verse 12:

Sow for yourselves righteousness;

Sow for yourself.  You, take care of your spiritual well-being.  You, are responsible for you, you and you alone.  When you take care of yourself and seek God and righteousness, then you reap love.  Then you find the love of God and the love of others.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

If The Root Is Holy

If The Root Is Holy

Romans 11:16

If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

I took some time to read commentaries by biblical scholars and theologians in regards to this verse.  All of them seemed to deal with civilizations, tribes, congregations, etc..  They were all saying this verse could refer to the church, meaning Christ was the first fruit, the root, thus making the early Christian church holy.  Some of them also referred to the Jews, going back to Abraham as being the first fruit.  And some referred to the Gentiles, who through their acceptance of Christ were the first fruit and were made holy.

I took this on a more personal level, which is how I tend to treat the whole Bible. Continue reading

Stands On Its Own – Part II

Stands On Its Own – Part II

Ezekiel 33:10-12

“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ 11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

“And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.

These verses help solidify my belief that the Bible is a manual for the individual. In my previous post, Stand On Its Own, I wrote about these verses, but today I wanted to write some more as I feel strongly about the individual.   Verses like these speak of the individual and how the individual is responsible for their actions.  Although each day circumstances beyond our control are thrown at us, how we respond to those circumstances is what we can control.  Our response is what makes us who we are. Continue reading

Stands On Its Own

Stands On Its Own

Ezekiel 33:10-12

“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

“And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.

Every time I read through the Bible, the more I realize it comes down to personal responsibility.  Each of us is responsible for our lives.  Circumstances vary, forces outside of our control can act upon us, but how we react or how proactive we are is what makes us who we are. Continue reading