So God, please humble me.
So God, please humble me.
filled with food, they became heavy and sleek.
They abandoned the God who made them
and rejected the Rock their Savior (verse 15).
|Andra MIhali (CC)|
The idea is that, with a state-controlled economy, the need to provide for yourself would disappear, freeing you from the bondage of work. Hence, there would no longer be needy people, right?
The Very Best of Sheryl Crow
Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous by all these things you have done. Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.
|Photo by Breno Machado|
|Steve Snodgrass (CC)|
King David, known as a man after God's heart, wrote:
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psa. 119:11)
The more I study scripture, the more I realize how true this verse is. When I get tired, irritated, or tempted I find increasingly that a verse finds its way into my head.
God is many things. He is love. He is just. He is omnipotent and omniscient.
But did you know God is sarcastic? Look no further than the book of Job for proof. If you haven't read the entire book, I highly recommend it. In chapter 38 God speaks to Job regarding his suffering. At this point, Job has experienced complete devestation of his family, property and health. His friends think this has happened as punishment for sin. Job refutes their accustation but questions God several times throughout the book.
Finally The LORD speaks.
Pretty much the entirety of chapter 38 is laced with sarcasm, but this tone comes to a head in verses 20 and 21:
What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!
My favorite parts of The Bible are those (like this one) in which God or Jesus speaks, because they reveal the nature of God and, by extension, our own nature. As Genesis 1:27 reads:
God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Humans were created in the image of God, which means we were made with some of his characteristics. For me, sarcasm is definitely one of them.
Currently listening to:
King of Sorrow
I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. (Genesis 45:4-7)
This is Joseph speaking to his brothers. Earlier, Joseph's jealous brothers sold him into slavery, a transaction that landed him in Egypt where he eventually became the second-in-command of the entire nation. God used Joseph to prepare for the famine and thereby save the lives of many, particularly those of Jacob and his family. The key verse is 45:7 when Joseph says that he was sent "to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance."
So where is the connection to the New Testament? For that we have to focus on the transaction that took place when Joseph was sold into slavery. It was Judah's idea to sell his brother. As he says:
What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. (Gen. 37:26-27)
And they sold him for 20 sheckels of silver.
Now we turn to the New Testament:
Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand [Jesus] over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Matthew 26:14-16)
The price for an adult male slave according to Exodus 21:32 was thirty shekels, which may be how the chief priests arrived at the number for the price of Jesus. Joseph was only seventeen at the time he was sold, therefore he may have commanded a lesser price. (Besides that, the price of thirty shekels was spoken by God to Moses--the great-great nephew of Joseph.)
So Judah sold Joseph into slavery for 20 sheckels of silver, a transaction through which God saved the Israelites from famine.
And Judas sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, a transaction through which all mankind was saved.
Currently Listening To:
Cover Your Rig
Prior to this endeavor, I had read much of the Bible including the entire New Testament, but never straight through from beginning to end. Reading it in order gave me a much better context in which to place what I was reading--especially in the Old Testament.
My favorite books of the Old Testament were Exodus and Numbers.
My favorite gospel was John
My favorite New Testament books were Acts and Hebrews
Books I struggled through were Isaiah and some of Paul's epistles.
I thought maybe Psalms or Leviticus might trip me up because of their length and rigidity respectively, but I sailed through them without problem.
My favorite characters were Moses, Joseph, and Daniel.
This experience has been a positive one, and in seventy-eight days I have grown tremendously.
Here is a link to the schedule.
You have a good spirit. I can tell you have a good spirit.
I was completely flattered and, of course, thought he was right. It made may entire day. A week or so later I was contemplating the event and I came to a realization. I was told what I should have said. The spirit this man was detecting, was not my own, but rather that of the Holy Spirit. I wished I could go back in time and tell him instead of a mere thank you, say to him, That is not my spirit you see. That is the Holy Spirit. Not only do I believe this absolutely to be true, but what a testimony! Who knows where the conversation would have led at that point. This was a man of eastern philosophy who teaches Tai Chi and martial arts. I am not sure what country he comes from, but he is not from the USA. Saying that to him would have made an impact because he prides himself on being in touch with the metaphysical, and if he doubted my statement that the spirit he was detecting was the Holy Spirit, then he would have to question his own abilities. Therefore he would have had to believe what I said. His only other recourse would be to think that I am absolutely nuts and misguided. But, were i misguided, would he still have detected that spirit within me?
I still remain flattered by his words but for a different reason: that the Spirit is alive in me and someone else was able to detect it. Only someone close to God would exhibit this characteristic. I was ashamed that I did not give credit to God at our initial meeting, but it is a valuable lesson that I will carry into the future so that hopefully I will not forget to give God the credit.
Currently Listening to:
Dave Matthews Band