Head and tail…

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 9:8-17

 The Lord has sent a word against Jacob, and it will fall on Israel;

  and all the people will know, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:

 “The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.”

  But the LORD raises the adversaries of Rezin against him, and stirs up his enemies.

The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.

  The people did not turn to him who struck them, nor inquire of the LORD of hosts.

  So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed in one day—

  the elder and honored man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;

  for those who guide this people have been leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.

 Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men, and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.

The head and the tail; the leaders and the followers, all are guilty of rejecting God.  When he punishes, they do not turn to him in repentance, rather the pride that brought judgment remains and they obstinately rebuild. These are not a people who did not know God, they are his people, carry his name.  Their history tells them of His greatness and all that He has done for them.  As a people we see a turning away from our past, our history, our heritage.  We become proud in ourselves and boast of what we have accomplished.  We forget the One who provides, gives life and graces with gifts and abilities.  Time to take inventory and see the true nature of our hearts.  There can be no pride in ourselves; only trust in the Lord.

 

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Out of the heart, the mouth speaks…

Acts 5:1-11

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.  And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”

She said, “Yes, for so much.”

Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”  Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. 

Out of the heart the mouth speaks.  We cannot lie to God without consequences.  God  is truth, lies are of the enemy of our soul.  Who was being glorified?  The gifts were intended as a gift given in response to the move of the Holy Spirit.  Acting as if the gift was their all when in fact it wasn’t was what was wrong here.  Putting on a show for the benefit of self and others does not deceive God.  It deceives the one putting on the show.  We cannot lie to God.  The money was laid at the feet of the apostles, but those gifts were given to God, not men.  What was the true intent of this gift.  Was it to glorify God or self?  How subtly the self begins to rise up.  If we lie to God, we also lie to self and others and so deceive our selves.  “Search me O God and know my thoughts I pray, try me and….see if there be some wicked way in me, lead me in the way everlasting. “ Psalm 139.