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
Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
making you desolate because of your sins.
You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
You shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
Micah is explaining to Israel the consequences of their actions. They have abandoned God and forsaken righteousness for the pleasures and treasures of the world. Israel did in ancient times as we do today. We abandon the spirit to please the flesh. For the want of simple worldly things, we bypass righteousness and the work involved, and we do what we rationalize as necessary to make our existence comfortable and easy. Continue reading
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
“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
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 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. Continue reading
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