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Showing posts from July 3, 2016

Imminent Danger

It seems like every day we hear of a new plot that is either uncovered and broken up or completed with disastrous results on innocent people. How should we feel about this? What should we take away from it? The Psalmist discussed this when he cries out to God, "O righteous God, who searches the minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure." (Psalm 7:9) He further affirms that God is prepared to discipline the evil, "He does not relent, He will sharpen His sword; He will bend and string his bow." (7:12) God's punishment on the wicked through the force of His great weapons is imminent. Leupold comments, "We often fail to realize how perilous the position of the impenitent really is." Next, we see the process of the evil doer. The seed of evil has grown inside him and now he "is pregnant with evil." Like a woman with an expanding belly, this person has evil increasing, burgeoning inside. He has conce…

Lesson of Obedience

In our reading of the Bible, most of us are willing to skip over 1st  and 2nd Chronicles because of the long genealogies and historical repetition of the Samuels and Kings. But can we learn a lesson of obedience from some of these passages? Just into 1st Chronicles we are confronted with Reuben's disobedience in sleeping with Bilhah (Genesis 35:22), Rachel's servant who was also the bearer to Jacob of the later to be two tribes, Dan and Naphtali. (Genesis 30:4-8) Reuben was the firstborn son and to him, according to Old Testament law, was given a double inheritance. Because of his disobedience this was given to Joseph, the eleventh son and savior of Jacob's family during the harsh famine that drove the family to Egypt. That's why Ephraim and Manasseh became valid tribes of the twelve tribes. And, Reuben also lost the dignity and pre-eminence of the first-born's position which was given to Judah, the fourth child of Leah. Also in 1st Chronicles 5 are listed Gad, the s…

Short Accounts

It seems there is always going to be an opportunity to sin. Someone says something. Another "gets us angry." We choose to turn towards selfishness without too much thought. The psalmists says, "when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent." (Psalm 4:4) It could be said, "speak with your own hearts while lying on your bed." Here we see that the practice of introspection can be of much help in keeping us from doing wrong. When you speak with your own heart this is not an argument, it is a confession. It is of mutual benefit, both to you and to others, to keep short accounts with yourself and God. A conversation about your day on your bed at night can reveal in that quiet moment a false step, harsh word, or wrong deed of the day. The awareness of it is primary in order for the second step of asking forgiveness and, if need be, making restitution, is ever to become a reality. Paul said that love "comes from a pure heart and a good [clear] co…

Intependence

Independence  We all want this. We can't wait to get it while we are under our parent's care. We think it will provide everything that we need but as we have learned in our country, independence requires diligence, persistence, and courage. Many hundreds of thousands, even millions have died trying to protect it. Trillions of dollars have been spent to build a strong military and invest in new weapons to keep ahead of the surge which seeks to destroy our independence. In our own lives we start out dependent, and then move to independence thinking that we have arrived but English poet John Donne knew the truth in 1624 when he penned the statement, "no man is an island." For us this means in plain language that in order to maintain our independence we must move to a third level, that of interdependence. This is where we find peace. This is connection with others, sharing of mutual concerns, listening to and caring for those around us. Paul stated such at the end of many o…