Friday, July 28, 2006

Hello Big World

Upon reflection, this ranks fairly high. In fact, I would say it ranks as the 2nd biggest day in my life thus far. It came like a sudden flash. I have been preparing for this day for the last 3 years of my life. Now its here. July 28th, 2007. All I can think of as I sit in a state of numbness: Lord, be with me. He promised He would in His Word, and I cling to that promise.....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Against Nineveh

Nahum: another prophet of the good ole days that is often overlooked, like my boy Amos. As I mentioned in a former post, I love getting into the books of the prophet's because....they bring it, and for the most part they call out idolatry and social justice. It's awesome indeed.

With the canonical book of Nahum I got a different lesson (again, not that this lesson isn't in every other book, but it really hit me during the reading of this book). The focus: the character of God. So, Nahum 1:1 starts out with this, "The burden against Nineveh." Wow. Ok. That's direct. Most of you know about Nineveh, for those who don't, a quick mention that it was a city of the great Assyrian Empire that gave Israel, well, hell. God is unhappy with Nineveh, but not because it went up against Israel, but because of the lack of repentance (also see the book of Jonah) of its people.

Ok. Ok. I'll get to the point. Verse 2 of this initial chapter starts right in with the vengeance of God. Words like "furious", "jealous", "wrath", and "adversaries" are all used to describe God and His disposition towards Nineveh. But then, just like the God we all know, He comes up with this gem: "The Lord is slow to anger" (1:3). Amazing isn't it. Furthermore, the text then goes on to describe how the Lord has His way and that he "rebukes the sea" and how the "hills melt" before him and that the "rivers all dry up". He also says "Who can stand before His indignation?" (1:6) and that His fury is "poured out like fire". Then, another gem: The Lord is good (1:7).

So, admist all of this tough, righteous speech, the Lord still loves! Nineveh was obviously hurting the Lord and since He is righteous He had every reason to deliver them to their crap (like He could with us), yet He was still slow to anger. And even more, the lesson learned is that the Lord is very righteous indeed and very good. Thank you Father.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

That You May Live

Amos was a sweet prophet. I guess it wouldn't be hard for one to figure out why I liked him so much. He focused primarily on Israel's lack of social justice as opposed to other prophets during his time that focused on idolatry (not that condemning idolatry isn't great as well). Also, he makes it very clear that God used him to be a prophet and that he wasn't raised to be one, he was a sheepbreeder. I love this guy!

I underlined many lines concerning social justice. They are all over the place in this book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone in order to refresh themselves with God's concern for the unconcerned. To show this there is a certain part of Amos that struck me. To me this passage wasn't so "in your face" rhetoric, but definitive nonetheless.....and I'm praying that I am not using eisegesis in this....The Lord is calling Israel to repentance in Amos 5. He starts His plea by saying, "Seek Me and live" (Amos 5:4). He then restates Himself, "Seek the Lord and live" (Amos 5:6). He then gives an awesome account about how He is God over all of creation. He then again rebukes Israel for their disregard for the needy and oppressed. Finally, as He calls to repentance again, He says, "Seek good and not evil, That you may live; So that the Lord God of hosts will be with you" (Amos 5:14).

I find it interesting that the Lord says this in the context of social injustice.
Amazing! I would invite everyone to ponder and meditate on this.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Boiling Point

As Believers we need to be praying about this. I have been able to spend a little bit of time following this situation. Here are some personal observations:

1. This conflict goes deeper than just a few abducted soldiers. Really, this conflict seems to be more about the land, which goes far back in time, rather than recent uprisings.
2. Hezbollah, the radical Islamic group, very clearly started this mess, but Israel has retaliated in an exponentially greater way (again, this stems from observation #1).
3. The Bush Adminstration is eerily silent right now.
4. Iran is suddenly out of the news....hmmm, wonder what that means?!?! Could they be involved in this?
5. Lebanon has numerous members of Hezbollah in government and won't stand up to them as a country.
6. War is already upon the Middle East.

This is major stuff ya'll. We need to pray; hard! Pray for peace...don't just pray for Israel..pray for everyone.

God help us.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I Pledge Allegiance.......To God

I am surrounded by people who feel that I do not properly pay homage to the country I live in and the 'freedom' I experience from living here. I can understand their sentiments, they are just very patriotic and are like many Believers who say that the United States is the best country in the world.

I am very thankful that I was born here in the US, but perhaps more importantly, I am very thankful that I was born period. This is only by the grace of God. Thus, I have a different worldview of this life. I focus mostly on my identity through Christ, not my country of origin.

I feel the Word is very clear about this temporal life; and our journey through it.

1. Believers are sojourners, or vagabonds in this temporal world.
2. Believers allegiance should be to God only, anything less is idolatry (see the Prophets).
3. True freedom is experienced internally, not externally.
4. God loves ALL people and views us all as equals.

So, although this country offers great benefits (at least perceived benefits): freedom, rights, security, stability, substance, etc.., it can never offer more than the Lord. Also, country lines are man made lines and although the United States offers much, it leaves much to be desired as well. Americans can be so easily blinded by Satan into a false sense of identity. The 'benefits' of this land can also be curses in disguise. So forgive me for not being patriotic, I am pledging my allegiance to God and Him alone who loves and desires people of all tribes, tongues, and nations to know Him.