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

We Abandon God

We Abandon God

Lamentations 3:31-33

For the Lord will not
    cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
    or grieve the children of men.

I have previously written about Lamentations, Chapter 3, verses 25 through 27.  In that post I wrote about seeking God and the consequences of your actions.  I then followed that post by writing about verses 28 through 30, which was about taking the responsibility for the consequences of your actions and then learning from those consequences.

Now today I want to write about the three verses at the beginning of this post, Lamentations, Chapter 3, verses 31 through 33. Continue reading

Waiting For You

Waiting For You

Lamentations 3:25-27

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

Return The Fruits

Return The Fruits

Jeremiah 31:16

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

Strengthening Your Righteousness Muscle

Strengthening Your Righteousness Muscle

Jeremiah 12:1-4

Righteous are you, O Lord,
    when I complain to you;
    yet I would plead my case before you.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
    they grow and produce fruit;
you are near in their mouth
    and far from their heart.
But you, O Lord, know me;
    you see me, and test my heart toward you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
    and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
How long will the land mourn
    and the grass of every field wither?
For the evil of those who dwell in it
    the beasts and the birds are swept away,
    because they said, “He will not see our latter end.”

The English Standard Version of the Bible gives verses one through four the title: “Jeremiah’s Complaint”.  Some of the commentaries I have read about these verses state that this is not Jeremiah quarreling with God, or attempting to quarrel with God, but it is a plea.  I would say a plea for justice. Continue reading