Luke 16 Part 2–The Short or Long Game

After talking about choosing between God and money, Jesus tells a cautionary parable.  The parable illustrates the result of choosing the wrong master.  The rich man had a great life and Lazarus was a beggar.  In their lives, the rich man had no incentive or desire to assist Lazarus and literally watched the beggar die at his doorstep.  Then, the rich man also dies and ends up in Hades; where it is all torment, all the time.  In contrast, Lazarus is resting in Heaven with Father Abraham. 

Now, the Rich man is reaching out and begging for relief.  Abraham sadly, but firmly says no.  He tells the rich man that he made a choice on earth and is bearing the consequence of that choice.  What is more, there is no crossing over–that has been made impossible.  

Then, a more chilling answer.  The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family of the cost of the rich man’s choice so that they might avoid the torment he was experiencing.  Sadly, Abraham tells the once rich man, that they have been warned by Moses and the prophets.  If they would not listen to that, they would not even listen to one raised from the dead.

In our lives, we are faced daily with the choice of serving God or serving ourselves and the world.  The choice takes on various forms and states, but in the end, it is still the choice of serving God or serving the world.  Both choices yield results. Often serving oneself is easier and more comforting in the short term.  From an eternal perspective, however, rejecting God’s plan for our lives leaves us separated and lost. 

Conversely, if we will trust God, in all circumstance, realize that He is faithful to supply all our needs, follow Him in all our ways–then the Lord will lead us through this brief journey and take us home to be with Him for eternity. 

It is our daily choice to play the short or the long game.  There is no doubt which choice is easier.  There is also no doubt which choice is better.  It takes us back to Joshua at his final address to Israel as they entered and took the promised land, “Choose this day whom you will serve…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” Joshua 24:15.

God Bless You


“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Luke 12 Part 3–Do not Sweat the Small Stuff (It’s all Small Stuff)

Jesus knew it was time to focus His chosen on the important things in life.  So many of us have hearts that long to be like Christ. Unfortunately, we are distracted by the things and worries of this world.  Especially when one has others that depend upon them–families, employees, parishioners, patients, students all draw upon our energy and wisdom to make their daily journey.  Jesus pulled the apostles aside and reminded them that God knows their concerns and has prepared to address them.  Luke 12:31 matches Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and God will give you everything you need!”  

Sometimes we are simply distracted from this universal truth.  We seek all the things of the world–money, power, security, favor, love, and peace.  Sadly, the world will never give any of those things.  Oh, it will promise them all but, in the end, like the flowers in the field it will wilt and die.

  God, on the other hand, grants the fruit of the spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.  Ask what you will, but that is what makes our lives complete.  That is why Jesus said time and again–Seek God, He will give you the stuff you need to live and what is more He will give you the peace to be full and complete on the journey. 

Paul sums it up quite nicely in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving bring your requests to God.  Then the peace of God that passes all human comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!”

God Bless You


Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

2 Corinthians 12:9–Thanks Jeff JonesBut he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Luke 7 Part 3–John, and the Crisis of Faith

Clearly, the crowds had moved on.  For a time, John the Baptist was the Rockstar.  People came from everywhere to see and be baptized by this man of God.  He spoke with authority and preached repentance to a world that had abandoned their faith.  He was rough and burley.  He was so different from the norm, that people would come to see him simply because of his oddity.  But, when they heard him speak of Messiah–well then hope was restored.  

Then, the day came when Jesus started his ministry.  John announced Jesus and baptized him.  John knew Jesus was Messiah–he had known it from the time they met in their Mom’s wombs!  Still as Jesus grew in popularity, John’s following dissipated.  His disapproval of Herod’s behavior landed John in jail awaiting execution.  John’s faithful team kept him up to date about what was happening and the growing popularity of Jesus.  There in the jail, John questioned his purpose and his call.  John sent his guys to confront Jesus–Are You the one?

Jesus, as he had with so many others, sent back a message of comfort and peace.  “Tell John what you have seen–the healing, the opening of eyes, the casting out of demons and the raising folks from the Dead.  In a word, Jesus assured His cousin that while His ministry was different, their purpose was the same.  Jesus was changing the world and Its picture of the Heavenly Father.  Jesus was not mad.  He did not take offense at John’s crisis of faith.  Instead, Jesus reminded all that were there–a large crowd, to say the least, that John was a superHero.  He changed the course of many lives and prepared the way for Messiah.  Still, compared to God’s chosen, Jesus reminded the people that even rockstars pale in comparison.We, as His people, are children of God. 

We will stand with the Lord for eternity.  When life gets hard and circumstances seem hopeless, we must take our hope from that promise! John knew and we must cling to the fact that Jesus Christ is enough. He must be enough in both good times and bad.  He must be our sufficiency whether we are hungry or well fed.  He has to be the center of our faith.  Jesus comforted His friend because sometimes it is hard to see the miracle that is sitting in front of us.  Because of Jesus, we are able to be in a personal relationship with God, Our Heavenly Father.  That is a great gift.

God Bless You


John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”

21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’[b]

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

Luke 7 Part 2–Taking a Step Off the Beaten Path

As doctor Luke continues to tell our Lord’s story, He makes a brief diversion.  He takes us off the beaten path to a farming community of Nain.  Jesus happens onto a funeral. A widow is burying her only son.  The procession is coming out of the city gate and Jesus and His guys meet up with them.  Jesus sees the widow, the community, and takes compassion on the widow.  Jesus raises the son from death and returns him to his mom.  What a great story!

That is, however, only part of the story.  To understand the depth of love and grace God has for us, let me throw out a couple extra facts.  Nain was well off the beaten path to other communities.  Jesus would have had to be going there for a specific purpose.  It was a long and arduous walk to the edge of a mountain.  So, Jesus walking there to coincidentally meet a funeral precession is simply unlikely.  Truth be told–Jesus set out very early that morning to meet a woman in great need.  He was the only solution to her life–a life that was now decimated.

Luke’s sidetrack was one of the great character revelations demonstrated in God’s word.  It is a physical example of God’s personal care.  This widow in this small farm town lost everything when her son died.  Her dear boy, her protection, her livelihood, and her standing in the community all now lay in a coffin.  Jesus went way out of His way to meet the widow, the coffin, and the boy to restore what this woman had lost.  The people in the town were rightfully amazed, but this was a small town–so what.  The “so what” is the reminder that God loves us personally! He will travel anywhere to meet us in our times of need; and He will restore what we have lost.  

I love Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It is a spiritual version to Jesus journey to Nain.  God knew our need and he went way out of His way to meet us.  He comes to our funeral and restores us.  We can never forget that God’s sacrifice was not made at a point that we deserved it.  No, He made the sacrifice only because He loves us personally and completely. 

Thanks Lord, for allowing Luke to demonstrate that character trait in the little town of Nain.

God Bless You


Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. 12 A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. 14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

16 Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people today.” 17 And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside.

Luke 6 Part 3–Loving and Judging

Perspective changes everything.  Imagine being an all-knowing, all-powerful, and omnipresent God.  Not only could you control all circumstances and overcome all obstacles; but you have known what the obstacles were and when those obstacles would occur since the dawn of time! That is the God we serve.  Jesus came to help people understand that this very God personally loves and cares for each of the people on earth.  This is not a God that is either distant or aloof. This is a God that truly loves His own and would do and give anything to save them.  

With that in mind, Jesus called the folks He met to do the same.  Love people.  Make the love unconditional.  Love them simply because that is what God does–loves us.  Also, quit judging the folks you disagree with.  Nobody knows each of us like God knows us–still, He loves us completely and perfectly.  Jesus called His followers to practice the very same lifestyle.  No more Loving “IF” or loving “Because” we simply love folks.  Our only acceptable “Because” is Because God Loves US!!!!  it is not an easy request.  it requires a faith that clings to a perfect God.  

We cannot place our faith in people, they always disappoint.  We cannot place our faith in science, money, history, or power–those things change constantly.  We must place our faith in the one constant–Our Heavenly Father, Adonai.  As it says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!”  As Jesus began changing the world, His message was that we needed to accept this amazing Love that God demonstrates.  He also emphasized the critical nature of our sharing that unconditional and non-judgmental love with all the folks we meet.  If we will do that, we will truly experience the power of God in our lives!  Believe me, that power is darn well worth it!

God Bless You


27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Isaiah 48–Giving God the Credit He Deserves

Isaiah’s next prophecy was to set the record straight on why Judah was still standing. It was not because they were a holy people.  It was not because they were valient or faithful.  It was not because they had come up with a plan to defeat the rest of the world or to fool God.  No, simply put, they still stood because God loved them and made a covenant to make them a great nation.

It was irritating to God to continue to support such a stiff necked and disobedient people.  He, however had skin in the game.  He delivered them out of slavery and brought them to this land.  He defeated their enemies and prospered them.  So, the decision to allow them to be catered and exiled was not an easy one to make.  In this passage, God makes clear that their very presence only happened as a gift from Him.  Such grace should be heralded and worshipped.  Sadly, the people simply went about their busy lives neither acknowledging God’s grace, nor retuning to the worship and submission to His lordship.

In present day, Many are faced with the same clear message.  It is not because we were that good or reverent; it is simply because God is a God of grace and mercy.  His chosen have not lived with the humility or passion to follow Him that He deserves.  But, As Paul said in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  That message rings loud in this time and culture.  We need to be humble, grateful and follow God closely.  It is only by His grace that we are still standing.

God Bless You


​“Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob,    you who are called by the name of Israel  and come from the line of Judah,you who take oaths in the name of the Lord    and invoke the God of Israel—    but not in truth or righteousness—you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city    and claim to rely on the God of Israel—    the Lord Almighty is his name:I foretold the former things long ago,    my mouth announced them, and I made them known.    then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.For I knew how stubborn you were.    your neck muscles were iron,    your forehead was bronze.Therefore I told you these things long ago;    before they happened, I announced them to youso that you could not say,    ‘My images brought them about;    my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’You have heard these things; look at them all.    Will you not admit them?“From now on I will tell you of new things,    of hidden things unknown to you.They are created now, and not long ago;    you have not heard of them before today.So you cannot say,    ‘Yes, I knew of them.’You have neither heard nor understood;    from of old your ears have not been open.Well do I know how treacherous you are;    you were called a rebel from birth.For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath;    for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,    so as not to destroy you completely.10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;    I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.    How can I let myself be defamed?    I will not yield my glory to another.

Isaiah 46–God’s Installation of Leaders

Isaiah prophecies the coming and taking of the Babylonian empire by Cyress, the King of the Medes and Persians. Interestingly, this is well prior to the Israel exile to Babylon.  The important take away is the reminder that God has a plan and that He is the one executing the plan.  Israel’s fate was sealed. They had abandoned the Lord and were destined to be exiled. In that pain, God had already planned for their release and return to Jerusalem.  

Cyress was no preist or prophet from God, He did neither honor God nor worship Him.  Still, God knew He would be the king that released the exiled Jews to return and rebuild Jerusalem.  God has said all along that he installed and removed leaders.  We simply must trust that God’s plan is being completed.  We can neither outthink nor outguess God. Solomon said it best in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge God in all your ways, and , He will make your paths straight.”

America is in a singularly difficult period in its history.  So much division and so much distrust.  The Church is being called upon to pray ceaselessly for God to work His plan and heal our Land.  We cannot be timid, nor can we expect anyone else to intercede for this nation and its people.  Join in prayer for the revival of this nation and for peace in our land.  We cannot give up on meeting together and seeking God with all our hearts.  If we will, we can echo the words of Jonathan, Saul’s son, in I Samuel 14:6, when he told his armor bearer, “Let’s go to battle, perhaps the Lord will work for us.”

God Bless You


“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant,
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
    those who are nothing but potsherds
    among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
    ‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
    ‘The potter has no hands’?
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
    ‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
    ‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
    and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
    I marshaled their starry hosts.
13 I will raise up Cyrus[b] in my righteousness:
    I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
    and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 33–What Goes Around Comes Around

Isaiah next takes on the issue of balancing the scales.  So many times, we see the evil in the world and sense that there is no justice.  We see people that prey upon others and never seem to suffer consequences.  They snub rules and shake their fists at authority, all the time feeling invincible and deserving of anything they desire, no matter the cost to others.

Isaiah reminds us, that the destroyer will be destroyed.  The betrayer will be betrayed, in short–what goes around comes around.  In contrast, Isaiah says God will be gracious to the gracious, kind to those that show kindness.  God dispenses justice and mercy according to the measure it is dispensed.  The amazing addition, however, comes in that God also shows mercy to us as sinners.  We do not deserve such grace. We do not deserve salvation.  In Romans 5, Paul says it best, “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.

It is important for us, as His chosen, to live lives that show grace and mercy to the extent it has been shown to us. We must never lose sight that the Bible and our lives are filled with frail humans doing stupid things that affect others.  We grow cold and self-righteous, forgetting that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. In that, we act a great deal like the ones described in the prophecy.  We need to show God’s grace and mercy.  We need to show others the same measure of grace we have been shown. When we do, we will be blessed and receive the grace we have shown.  As a child of God, we must continue to live and look like the Savior that bore our sin.

God Bless You


​Woe to you, destroyer,you who have not been destroyed!Woe to you, betrayer,you who have not been betrayed!When you stop destroying,you will be destroyed;when you stop betraying,you will be betrayed.

Lord, be gracious to us;we long for you.Be our strength every morning,our salvation in time of distress.

At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;when you rise up, the nations scatter.

Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.

He will be the sure foundation for your times,a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.[a]

Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;the envoys of peace weep bitterly.

The highways are deserted,no travelers are on the roads.The treaty is broken,its witnesses[b] are despised,no one is respected.

The land dries up and wastes away,Lebanon is ashamed and withers;Sharon is like the Arabah,and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

10 “Now will I arise,” says the Lord.“Now will I be exalted;now will I be lifted up.

Isaiah 22–God’s Word for Jerusalem

After the prophecy of the destruction of all of Judah’s enemies, Isaiah is now to proclaim the destruction of Jerusalem.  It was not a happy message.  At the end of the day, God was not going to be patient for much longer.  The hearts of the people had turned, and the hope of repentance and revival had passed.  Now, Isaiah was tasked with revealing the pain that lie ahead.

The pain that was predicted was the tearing down of walls the pillaging and destruction of the temple and the bloodless capture and exile of the people.  That had to sound preposterous to the people, after all, things under Hezakiah were very nice.  They were experiencing peace and prosperity like the days of old.  Nothing could go wrong…until it did.

In present day, we can never assume life will continue problem free.  in the blink of an eye peace can turn to chaos, and prosperity to economic devastation. Fighting from within and pressures from without–remind us that as in the days of this prophet, God’s people must repent and pray for revival and renewal.  God is patient, but, as with Israel and Judah–that patience will run out.  We need to be proactive and humbly seek Him with all our hearts.  We also need to be grateful for what we have and not take it for granted.  Please join me in humble prayer.

God Bless You


The oracle concerning the valley of vision.

What do you mean that you have gone up,
    all of you, to the housetops,
you who are full of shoutings,
    tumultuous city, exultant town?
Your slain are not slain with the sword
    or dead in battle.
All your leaders have fled together;
    without the bow they were captured.
All of you who were found were captured,
    though they had fled far away.
Therefore I said:
“Look away from me;
    let me weep bitter tears;
do not labour to comfort me
    concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
For the Lord God of hosts has a day
    of tumult and trampling and confusion
    in the valley of vision,
a battering down of walls
    and a shouting to the mountains.
And Elam bore the quiver
    with chariots and horsemen,
    and Kir uncovered the shield.
Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
    and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.
He has taken away the covering of Judah.

In that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that the breaches of the city of David were many. You collected the waters of the lower pool, 10 and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.

12 In that day the Lord God of hosts
    called for weeping and mourning,
    for baldness and wearing sackcloth;
13 and behold, joy and gladness,
    killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
    eating flesh and drinking wine.
“Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”
14 The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
“Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,”
    says the Lord God of hosts.

The Cultural Spiral–Proverbs 29 Part 1

While there are many aspects of wisdom, one of the most curious aspects is the envy and violence that those who fail to seek it possess.  There has been the misconception that an absence of reverence has no effect on order. In fact, as respect for God wanes, so does respect for authority and respect for life. From the time of Noah, societies that alienate themselves from God—become lawless, chaotic, self-destructive messes.

Solomon contrasts the lives of the people affected by the wise and the foolish. That societal dysfunction is visited down to the individual. In current culture, removal of all vestiges of God from Government and education started a downward spiral that eliminated respect for authority—military, law enforcement, educators and parents. Additionally, we eliminated respect for life—abortion, euthanasia, genocide and violent crime. Finally, we eliminated respect for institution—marriage, family, and even gender roles.  The result is a society like Noah’s wrought with lawlessness, chaos and self-destruction.

Sadly, history does not reflect a society’s restoration once it has reached the level of chaos described. Time and again, the Sodomites, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans saw their cultures destroyed as chaos overtook them. Even in current culture, one need only look across the globe to Europe to see the crumbling of civilization occurring before our very eyes. As Christians, we need to pray for restoration and revival. Passionately, we need to call on God for mercy and for direction to regain a semblance of order and polite society in our nation—otherwise, we will fade into obscurity as great cultures have done before us. Have mercy Mighty Lord!!!

God Bless You

1Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes     will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;     when the wicked rule, the people groan.

A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,     but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

By justice a king gives a country stability,     but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.

Those who flatter their neighbors     are spreading nets for their feet.

Evildoers are snared by their own sin,     but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.

The righteous care about justice for the poor,     but the wicked have no such concern.

Mockers stir up a city,     but the wise turn away anger.

If a wise person goes to court with a fool,     the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity     and seek to kill the upright