Calling evil good?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 5:17-25

 Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture, and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.

  Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes,

  who say: “Let him be quick,

let him speed his work

that we may see it;

let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,

and let it come, that we may know it!”

 

[is this sarcasm?  Cords of lies?]

 

Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

 who put bitter for sweet

 and sweet for bitter!

  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,

and shrewd in their own sight!

 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,

and valiant men in mixing strong drink,

who acquit the guilty for a bribe,

and deprive the innocent of his right!

 

[shadows of abortion?]

 

Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,

and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,

 so their root will be as rottenness,

and their blossom go up like dust;

for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,

 and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,

and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,

and the mountains quaked;

and their corpses were as refuse

in the midst of the streets.

For all this his anger has not turned away,

 and his hand is stretched out still.

Burned in the fire of God’s anger rather than healed by His love.  We have picture after picture of his wrath.  They match pictures we see today in our news.  The wickedness in our land is described as clearly here for  us as it was then for Israel.

They have rejected…bears consequences…

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Believe? Really?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Ezra 8:21-23

  Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.   For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”  So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

There comes a point where one must face the reality of what they say and believe.  The statement, “Do you really believe that what you believe is really true?”

“The hand of our God is good for all who seek him , and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”

Do we truly believe?  If so we should have no fear, no anxiety over our future, no stress or concern over what others do… The statement was followed by action.

“So we fasted and (prayed) implored our God for this…”

How long since we have fasted and prayed?  How longs since we have sought God’s face?

They did not ask for, seek the protection of men.

 “…a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy…” 

They sought God’s protection.  Do we look to our government to protect us?  Physically?  Financially?  Emotionally?  Looking for happiness and security?  Do we truly believe our help in is the Lord?  When we do, it will show in our actions and our conversation.  It will show in our thoughts and our attitudes.

“… our God is for good on all who seek him,…”

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This is love…

John 18:1-11

When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”

They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”

And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

 How well do we know Him?  Jesus gave us his words, but more than that He put action to his words; he demonstrated just how truthful they were.  He gave himself; they came to take him but he denied them that action and gave himself to them.  Facing the opposition head-on, Jesus confronts them and gives himself to them.  He was not taken, he went freely.  He had a ‘cup’ to drink; he willingly accepted it and in that gesture modeled for us the ultimate in love and submission.  He could have done differently; they expected him to resist.  He was capable; they had heard and witnessed his miracles.  What was required was obedience and he was found faithful.  He showed us it could be done.  He connected submission to obedience; obedience to a higher power.  Jesus spoke of love and in his final act revealed the full scope of true love.  His words were: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Another place tells us this: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.”  This was the cup he was given, this was the cup he accepted and drank, for us…  Each of us will when faithful and obedient, do the same.  It is packaged differently for each one, but within the acceptance of the love extended to us is an obligation to submission and that is the giving up of self.  When we continue to see the word ‘I’ in our conversation, our discourse with one another, and the ‘I’ far out numbers any other pronoun, we have not given up self as asked.  We still operate within the scope and realm of our own space and world.  This is often even evident when superficially we are working for others.  How dedicated are we?  To the exclusion of our own desires, demands, designs?   ” He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? “