In those days they shall no longer say:
“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
When I read these verses two words came into my head. We’ll talk about that a little later in this piece.
In ancient times it was thought that the sins of the father, or the “eating of the sour grapes” as referred to in these verses, were paid for by their children and their succeeding generations. When the Israelites we’re conquered and carried off to Babylon the children were paying for the sins of their fathers. But many of those children were also eating the sour grapes. Much like their fathers, the children continued the idolatry and worshiping of false gods. They continued the abominations practiced by their parents. Continue reading
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
What is James talking about in these verses? He is talking about personal responsibility.
He is telling us that temptation and sin are of our own doing. We are not puppets and God is pulling the strings. We are all free individuals able to make our own decisions and choices. And with freedom comes responsibility, personal responsibility. Continue reading
When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”
What has Jeremiah said or done to make the officials of Judah want to have him perish? Well, let’s look back at Jeremiah 26:4-6: Continue reading
Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
This is Isaiah summing up man.
In Isaiah 48, Isaiah is telling the Israelites how God has shown them miracles, brought them out of bondage, and informed them of the consequences of their actions. God reminds them that all the things told to them and shown to them have come to pass. The Israelites knew of the consequences of their actions and chose to ignore them, they turned to man-made idols for their salvation. 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
The other evening I read 2 Samuel Chapters 11 and 12. It’s the story of King David, Bathsheba and the price David paid for his sins.
If you’re not familiar with the story here is a recap.
One day King David is up on the roof of his house looking around. He looks down and sees Bathsheba taking a bath. She is described as “very beautiful”. David wants to know who she is. He asks and is told she is the wife of another man. This doesn’t stop David, he has her brought to him and then next thing you know Bathsheba is pregnant with David’s baby.
David knows that this isn’t going to look good. The holy king knocking up another man’s wife. 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
Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
Solomon is writing about the evil that exists in the world. When I read these verses I wrote the following note to myself: “Evil always has and always will exist in the world.” Solomon writes that those who are dead and those who have not been born are better off than the living. Why does he say this? Because from birth to death we will always come in contact with evil. Only those who no longer exist or those who never existed will be void of evil. Continue reading
Genesis 3 deals with what is simply known as “The Fall”.
I am sure most everyone knows this story. The story of how God gave man the Garden of Eden. A paradise which contained everything man would need to fulfill his spiritual and physical needs.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
God had given man all that he needed, just as Solomon realized thousands of years later, God had given man everything from the moment of creation. In the Garden of Eden man had all he needed to eat and drink and be happy in his toil.
But vanity took its toll on Eve as the serpent enticed her with covetousness, enticed her to seek and want that which she did not have, that which she did not need. Continue reading
I wrote a note to myself after I read this chapter and what I wrote was, “Daniel 5, the part about becoming proud”.
I looked at this note a couple of days later. I was looking for some post ideas. When I looked at it I wasn’t sure why I wrote it down or what I meant so I placed the note in the back of my journal.
Over the next couple of weeks I kept bypassing this note. I would look at it, not get what I meant by the note and move on to another one.
Finally as I started running short of new ideas I decided to go back and re read Daniel 5 and see if I could figure out what it was I wanted to say when I wrote the cryptic note. Continue reading