“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. 3 Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.
4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
One of my favorite people on the planet has a real problem with "hateful religion". Haters gotta hate, he says. And, of course, he is really right. Except one of his favorite things to snarl used to be...."Die in a Fire." I don't know, maybe he meant that kindly.
Is the Word of God hateful.. I do not believe so. God is the giver of the Feast. Inviting those to participate. Come to the Table of the Lord and be filled.
The Word of God tends to run to fulfillment. The Root of David did come to save us. Elijah did return in the Transfiguration.
A Psalm of.... David
1 My God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
2 for people who are wicked and deceitful
have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
3 With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.
4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.
5 They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship.
6 Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
and may his prayers condemn him.
8 May his days be few;
may another take his place of leadership.
9 May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.
10 May his children be wandering beggars;
may they be driven[a] from their ruined homes.
11 May a creditor seize all he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
12 May no one extend kindness to him
or take pity on his fatherless children.
13 May his descendants be cut off,
their names blotted out from the next generation.
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord;
may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.
15 May their sins always remain before the Lord,
that he may blot out their name from the earth.
16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
but hounded to death the poor
and the needy and the brokenhearted.
17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
may it come back on him.
He found no pleasure in blessing—
may it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing as his garment;
it entered into his body like water,
into his bones like oil.
19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
like a belt tied forever around him.
20 May this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil of me.
21 But you, Sovereign Lord,
help me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees give way from fasting;
my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they shake their heads.
26 Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
may those who attack me be put to shame,
but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.
30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save their lives from those who would condemn them.
Mostly, I've really had a very blessed week. Maybe a bump or two. What do we do when people disappoint us? David faced some pretty big trauma. Running for his life from an "Anointed King."
I was told this summer this is just another example of how man wrote the Bible and the Bible is just awful. Actually, this is deeper than that. This is how transparent we can be with HIM. How would you react if your children suggested to you with evidence, "It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.” And kept that from you for years? And then you leave the promised land to discover they really only sold him into slavery for you to Think your child was dead... and they never record saying, "I'm remotely sorry."
Or may Jesus came and said, "Father forgive them." and from now on we just turn our cheek at all things. Preston Yancy leads our Bible Study and he calls this Happy Clappy Jesus. I am growing fond of him.
Or maybe we do like Jacob and do the best we can and say some injustices are left to HIM because the are horrendous like Jacob and Joseph. Jacob did end up blessing his sons and telling them how the cow ate the cabbage. You have to like real. Reuben tried rather ineffectively to save Joseph, didn't confess his part and ended up sleeping with his father's concubine.
Well how can we have a Jesus type forgiveness from Jacob before Jesus lived? The Holy Spirit is indwelling. Jacob was confined by life events and did his best. This could be why Israel and Jacob are the same in name.
Yet some of the blessings were very... mitigated.
Perhaps we should clean this up for the LORD. In that case, don't call on me, please. I'm not going to PR this piece into being politically correct.
The LORD does not say all meanies fry. But He did say if you aren't particularly loving representing HIM, He could say this...
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.
"44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
And He could reply .. "I never knew you."
Christianity doesn't seek to scare us into believing, neither is it the "Inspirational Hour" for us all to just feel great. Self-help isn't just all about me...Jesus all about me...
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
To not declare Jesus spoke of Hell is to delete part of His message.
And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!
Jesus wasn't meek and mild. He thundered. And He spoke directly of hell eleven times. Not to mention Judgement and where the fire is not quenched. Jesus said He came to save and that there is a different direction. Jesus spoke twelve times about our inability to judge each other as well.
As HE told us not to Judge others, we find out He does.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left."
How does He accomplish this judgement?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
A heart open to God requires open ears and a willingness to tune in to every part of God’s word.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
2 Kings 22:19
Because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.
The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.