Monday, January 31, 2011

Genesis

The next big segment in Genesis is all about Abraham.  He was not named Abraham at first - he was Abram.  God gave him a new name as the story progressed.   God told Abram to move, and Abram obeyed.  The land he journeyed to would eventually become the Promised Land for his descendants.

Sarai (later Sarah) gets a bit inpatient with waiting on the promised son, and gives her maid to Abraham (in the "knowing" sense) so that the maid can have a child and Sarai can have children through hers.  This never, ever, ever works out well, by the way.  This is how they had Ishmael first.  But Ishmael was not the child of this promise.  Nothing is impossible for God, and Sarai has Isaac.  This sets up God's call for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, which is just plain HUGE in terms of how it relates to Christ.  Everything in the Old Testament points to Christ, of course, but this one is pretty easy to see.

Gen 22:1  And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.   And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.   And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.   And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.  And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Gen 22:9  And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.  And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.  And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.  And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.  And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.


Gen 22:15  And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.


We're obviously skipping huge chapters here.  It isn't easy to summarize the Bible at the speed I am reading it.  These are just random highlights (not even all the highlights).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Genesis

Genesis continues exploring the end result of free will not used to love God with Cain and Abel.  Cain, who could choose to do the right thing, instead kills his brother.  No matter how badly we want the answer to "Am I my brother's keeper?" to be "no," it usually turns out to be "yes."  Humanity uses its free will to oppose God and love so much, He wipes out everybody but Noah and his family.

I read somewhere that you can't actually tell the whole story and consider it a cute children's story.  They make blankets with the animals and everybody remembers the two by two thing, but it kind of leaves out the people who die by drowning.  Not a pleasant way to go.

We don't stop sinning then, though.  We have Ham seeing the "nakedness of his father," which could be literal or could be alluding to sleeping with his mom.  Either way, it didn't go over well, and his son Canann was cursed.  Next up, society then tries to build a tower whose top might reach into Heaven.  This pride led God to confuse their speech so they would stop.

There's an interesting concept at work here.  God is using discipline to persuade us to do the right thing.  These examples are for us to use in this way, but at the time they were also things God was actively doing to convince His people to stay in line.

Gen 11:1-9  And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.  And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.  So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.  Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Genesis

The first book of the Bible is the book of Genesis.  It is a very long book, with 50 chapters.  It covers everything from the start of Creation to God's people moving to Egypt (which of course is the setup for The Ten Commandments movie). 

We start off with God creating everything.  From nothing.  Think about that for just a second.  I don't even care what you think about Creationism or Evolution - think about the fact that before there was nothing.  Then there was something, because God made it.  We don't have the capability to create something from nothing as humans.  God not only created something out of nothing, He created a universe out of nothing.  Furthermore, He created it good.  There wasn't evil initially.

I really like how Scott Hahn describes this process and how it relates to the rest of Revelation in A Father Who Keeps His Promises.  There are free online study courses at the St Paul Center for Biblical Theology that also cover the same explanation.  If you've never learned about how these first few chapters of Genesis tie in with everything else in the entire Bible, go check out these courses.

I won't go into a lot of detail as I'm reading through the Bible as it it too fast to keep up.  We are all familiar with what happens next - Eve listens to the serpent and eats the fruit.  With her free will, she chooses to turn her back on God's commands and therefore sins.  Adam, being such a stand up guy, stands by and watches her without protesting.  At least she debated the decision.  He just takes the fruit and eats it.  Out of the garden they go, sin in tow.  The rest of the Bible is how God plans to get us, complete with our annoying free will, back.

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 


Gen 1:6  And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 


Gen 1:9  And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. 


Gen 1:14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,  And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.  And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 


Gen 1:20  And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.  And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.  And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 


Gen 1:24  And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 


Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  


Gen 2:1  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Starting in on the B90 plan

After all that work to come up with a plan to read the Catholic Bible in 90 days, I decided I wasn't going to!  Well, not exactly.  My friend invited me to her church's small group, doing the Bible in 90 days.  To avoid confusion, I'm sticking to their version and reading the official The Bible in 90 Days, which is NIV (New International Version).  I have never read the NIV before, though I must also say I'm not a big fan.

I prefer a more word for word, literal translation of the Bible.  This does make it harder to read, as we're translating from ancient languages so the grammar just seems a bit off.  But I like it because it varies less by the translator's background.  The NIV and others are considered to be less of a literal word for word translation.  You can see a chart of how many Bibles would look on a scale here.  Of course, that is also subject to interpretation.  None of this analysis is divinely inspired!

Here's an example of a difference.  Genesis 4:1 talks about Adam and Eve engaging in the marital act and the conception of Cain.

KJV:  And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 


DRB:  And Adam knew Eve his wife; who conceived and brought forth Cain, saying: I have gotten a man through God. 


RSV:  Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD."


NIV:  Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man."

Obviously, "lay with" is an accurate description of what occurred.  But the original text means "knew."  The definitions associated with the word all indicate "knew" is what was meant.  That can mean a variety of things, but it all falls under the word "knew."  Adam "knew" his wife Eve.

Why is this important?  Well, this word to know appears elsewhere in the Bible.  Lots actually.  People knew things all the time.  They knew what was going on, they knew each other in the sexual sense, and they knew God.  It might be important to now that all this knowing, even if it meant the same thing, was not always looked upon in the same way.  Genesis 19 tells of what happens when Lot entertains angels in the city of Sodom.  The men of the town show up at his house and demand that he turn over these visitors so they may "know" them (Gen 19:5).

KJV:  And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.


DRB:  And they called Lot, and said to him: Where are the men that came in to thee at night? bring them out hither, that we may know them:


RSV:  and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them." 


NIV:  They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

These men wanted to engage in the sexual act, just like Adam and Eve engaged in.  Same (okay, well similar) act, but very different morality.  I prefer to read it in the same word, because it reminds me the context in which this knowing occurs is very important.  I read the NIV version and I'm reminded of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."  Yeah, but did you "know" her?  God is not absent in the bedroom.  He has a lot to say about our sexual activity, even if we don't like it.


This is all of course a relatively minor hang up of mine, but I think words do matter quite a bit.  The upside to the NIV is it is a lot easier to read, which makes reading it in 90 days all the simpler.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catholic Bible in 90 Days

I've up and changed my plan.  Taking a break from Proverbs, Psalms, and Wisdom.  One of my friends is reading the Bible in 90 days, and I've gone and figured out how to do that with a Catholic Bible so I think I'm going to try to pull that off.  Stay tuned for commentary!

I did Genesis 1-15 today.  It was easy because I've read it so frequently before.

If interested, here's how it would line up with the Catholic Bible:


1 Gen 1-15
2 Gen 16-27
3 Gen 28-39
4 Gen 40-50
5 Ex 1-14
6 Ex 15-27
7 Ex 28-38
8 Ex 39-Lv12
9 Lv13-23
10 Lv24-Num 6
11 Num 7 - 17
12 Num 18-29
13 Num 30-Deu 4
14 Deu 5- 21
15 Deu 22-34
16 Jo 1-15
17 Jo 16-Jud5
18 Jud6-19
19 Jud 20-1 Sam 10
20 1 Sam 11-23
21 1 Sam 24-2 Sam 9
22 2 Sam 10-22
23 2 Sam23 -1Ki 8
24 1 Ki 9 - 20
25 1 Ki 21-2Ki 11
26 2 Ki 12-25
27 1 Ch 1-9
28 1 Ch 10-24
29 1 Ch 25-2Ch 11
30 2Ch 12-29
31 2 Ch 30-Ez 8
32 Ez 9-Neh 11
33 Neh 12-Jud4
34 Jud 5-Est 8
35 Est 9 - 1 Mc4
36 1 Mc5-10
37 1Mc11-2Mc 3
38 2Mc4-13
39 2Mc14-Job 13
40 Job 13-30
41 Job 31-42
42 Ps 1- 30
43 Ps 31-54
44 Ps55-77
45 Ps78-98
46 Ps99-118
47 Ps 119-142
48 Ps 143-Pro 10
49 Prov 11-23
50 Prv 24-Ecc 8
51 Ecc 9- Wis10
52 Wis 11-Sir6
53 Sir 7-21
54 Sir 22-36
55 Sir 37-51
56 Is 1- 21
57 Is 22- 40
58 Is 41-60
59 Is 61-Jer11
60 Jer 12-28
61 Jer 29-44
62 Jer 45-Lam3
63 Lam 4-Ez7
64 Ez8 - 22
65 Ez23-36
66 Ez37-Dan 2
67 Dan3-Amos 1
68 Amos2-Hab3
69 Zep1-Mal3
70 Mat1-12
71 Mat13-22
72 Mat23-Mark3
73 Mark4-Mark12
74 Mark 13-Luk4
75 Luk5-12
76 Luk13-22
77 Luk23-John6
78 John 7-15
79 John 16-Acts 6
80 Acts 7 -16
81 Acts 17-28
82 Romans 1-15
83 Rom 16- 1 Cor 14
84 1Cor 15-Gal 2
85 Gal3- 1 Col
86 2 Col- 2 Tim 4
87 Ti1-Heb 13
88 1 James-3 John
89 Jude - Rev

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wisdom Chapter 7

For this chapter, it is important to remember this book was written by Solomon.  Verse 7:4 is sometimes seen as a reason why Jesus' swaddling clothes are mentioned in the Gospel's infancy narrative, linking Him to a previous King of Israel.  It is a beautiful explanation of wisdom.

Wis 7:1  I myself am a mortal man, like all others, and of the race of him, that was first made of the earth, and in the womb of my mother I was fashioned to be flesh.
Wis 7:2  In the time of ten months I was compacted in blood, of the seed of man, and the pleasure of sleep concurring.
Wis 7:3  And being born, I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, that is made alike, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do.
Wis 7:4  I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and with great cares.
Wis 7:5  For none of the kings had any other beginning of birth.
Wis 7:6  For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.
Wis 7:7  Wherefore I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me:
Wis 7:8  And I preferred her before kingdoms and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.
Wis 7:9  Neither did I compare unto her any precious stone: for all gold, in comparison of her, is as a little sand; and silver, in respect to her, shall be counted as clay.
Wis 7:10  I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for her light cannot be put out.
Wis 7:11  Now all good things came to me together with her, and innumerable riches through her hands,
Wis 7:12  And I rejoiced in all these: for this wisdom went before me, and I knew not that she was the mother of them all.
Wis 7:13  Which I have learned without guile, and communicate without envy, and her riches I hide not.
Wis 7:14  For she is an infinite treasure to men: which they that use, become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts of discipline.
Wis 7:15  And God hath given to me to speak as I would, and to conceive thoughts worthy of those things that are given me: because he is the guide of wisdom, and the director of the wise:
Wis 7:16  For in his hand are both we, and our words, and all wisdom, and the knowledge and skill of works.
Wis 7:17  For he hath given me the true knowledge of the things that are: to know the disposition of the whole world, and the virtues of the elements,
Wis 7:18  The beginning, and ending, and midst of the times, the alterations of their courses, and the changes of seasons,
Wis 7:19  The revolutions of the year, and the dispositions of the stars,
Wis 7:20  The natures of living creatures, and rage of wild beasts, the force of winds, and reasonings of men, the diversities of plants, and the virtues of roots,
Wis 7:21  And all such things as are hid, and not foreseen, I have learned: for wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me.
Wis 7:22  For in her is the spirit of understanding; holy, one, manifold, subtile, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hindereth, beneficent,
Wis 7:23  Gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits: intelligible, pure, subtile:
Wis 7:24  For wisdom is more active than all active things; and reacheth everywhere, by reason of her purity.
Wis 7:25  For she is a vapour of the power of God, and a certain pure emmanation of the glory of the Almighty God: and therefore no defiled thing cometh into her.
Wis 7:26  For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God's majesty, and the image of his goodness.
Wis 7:27  And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself the same, she reneweth all things, and through nations conveyeth herself into holy souls, she maketh the friends of God and prophets.
Wis 7:28  For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.
Wis 7:29  For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of the stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.
Wis 7:30  For after this cometh night, but no evil can overcome wisdom.

Proverbs 19

Pro 19:12  The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.
Pro 19:13  A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
Pro 19:14  House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Pro 19:15  Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
Pro 19:16  He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.
Pro 19:17  He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Pro 19:18  Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.


The first part starts out with some practical advice, and then the next one and the last talk about parenting.  Foolish children are aggravating to parents.  I'm  not a parent but I can see that when I go places.  The parent has never taken to disciplining the child so the child misbehaves and embarrasses the parent. 

I watched a friend start to train her child recently as he's crawling and needs to learn the word "no."  He didn't like it very much and cried.  It was awful to watch, but it upset me far more than it upset him.  He was off and crawling again, and didn't repeat his behavior.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Proverbs 19

Pro 19:7  All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.
Pro 19:8  He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.
Pro 19:9  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.
Pro 19:10  Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.
Pro 19:11  The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.


How hard the last one is to remember.  We do not bring glory to ourselves or to God by retaliating against an offense or telling someone off, even if the world would tell us "they deserve it."  No one will think more highly of me if I am able to verbally assault someone who has wronged me.  Much more will be thought of me if I remain polite and considerate.

This is especially true for Christians, as people should associate us with what we believe, and therefore Jesus.  We do not bring glory to our King through rash or immature or unjust actions; quite the opposite.

Wisdom Chapter 6

The previous chapter of Wisdom discussed more the differences between the just and the unjust man.  This chapter goes on to extol Wisdom and describe how wonderful Godly Wisdom is.


Wis 6:1  Wisdom is better than strength: and a wise man is better than a strong man.
Wis 6:2  Hear, therefore, ye kings, and understand, learn ye that are judges of the ends of the earth.
Wis 6:3  Give ear, you that rule the people, and that please yourselves in multitudes of nations:
Wis 6:4  For power is given you by the Lord, and strength by the most High, who will examine your works: and search out your thoughts:
Wis 6:5  Because being ministers of his kingdom, you have not judged rightly, nor kept the law of justice, nor walked according to the will of God.
Wis 6:6  Horribly and speedily will he appear to you: for a most severe judgment shall be for them that bear rule.
Wis 6:7  For to him that is little, mercy is granted: but the mighty shall be mightily tormented.
Wis 6:8  For God will not except any man's person, neither will he stand in awe of any man's greatness: for he made the little and the great, and he hath equally care of all.
Wis 6:9  But a greater punishment is ready for the more mighty.
Wis 6:10  To you, therefore, O kings, are these my words, that you may learn wisdom, and not fall from it.
Wis 6:11  For they that have kept just things justly, shall be justified: and they that have learned these things, shall find what to answer.
Wis 6:12  Covet ye, therefore, my words, and love them, and you shall have instruction.
Wis 6:13  Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, and is easily seen by them that love her, and is found by them that seek her.
Wis 6:14  She preventeth them that covet her, so that she first sheweth herself unto them.
Wis 6:15  He that awaketh early to seek her, shall not labour: for he shall find her sitting at his door.
Wis 6:16  To think, therefore, upon her, is perfect understanding: and he that watcheth for her, shall quickly be secure.
Wis 6:17  For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, and she sheweth herself to them cheerfully in the ways, and meeteth them with all providence.
Wis 6:18  For the beginning of her is the most true desire of discipline.
Wis 6:19  And the care of discipline is love: and love is the keeping of her laws: and the keeping of her laws is the firm foundation of incorruption:
Wis 6:20  And incorruption bringeth near to God.
Wis 6:21  Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to the everlasting kingdom.
Wis 6:22  If then your delight be in thrones, and sceptres, O ye kings of the people, love wisdom, that you may reign for ever.
Wis 6:23  Love the light of wisdom, all ye that bear rule over peoples.
Wis 6:24  Now what wisdom is, and what was her origin, I will declare: and I will not hide from you the mysteries of God, but will seek her out from the beginning of her birth, and bring the knowledge of her to light, and will not pass over the truth:
Wis 6:25  Neither will I go with consuming envy: for such a man shall not be partaker of wisdom.
Wis 6:26  Now the multitude of the wise is the welfare of the whole world: and a wise king is the upholding of the people.
Wis 6:27  Receive, therefore, instruction by my words, and it shall be profitable to you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Proverbs 19

Pro 19:1  Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
Pro 19:2  Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.
Pro 19:3  The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
Pro 19:4  Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
Pro 19:5  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
Pro 19:6  Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts. 


Verse 2 is good to read on a Monday morning!  How frequently we go out to rush through our day without any knowledge or wisdom from God, but making haste is apparently not the best plan.  Slowing down to gain a bit more information and to learn from God would yield much better results.

Wisdom Chapter 5

Chapter 4 continued to highlight the differences between the end of the righteous and the end of those who have turned against God.  At the beginning of chapter 5, the just ones will stand against those who afflicted them, and the unrighteous will be surprised at how it all turns out.

Wis 5:1  Then shall the just stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them, and taken away their labours.
Wis 5:2  These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation,
Wis 5:3  Saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit: These are they, whom we had sometime in derision, and for a parable of reproach.
Wis 5:4  We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour.
Wis 5:5  Behold, how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints.
Wis 5:6  Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, and the light of justice hath not shined unto us, and the sun of understanding hath not risen upon us.
Wis 5:7  We wearied ourselves in the way of iniquity and destruction, and have walked through hard ways, but the way of the Lord we have not known.
Wis 5:8  What hath pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us?



Their riches are of no use to them, as they are gone.  You can't take it with you is a very accurate statement.  The hope of the wicked, in their earthly treasures, is nothing but dust.


Wis 5:9  All those things are passed away like a shadow, and like a post that runneth on,
Wis 5:10  And as a ship, that passeth through the waves: whereof when it is gone by, the trace cannot be found. nor the path of its keel in the waters:
Wis 5:11  Or as when a bird flieth through the air, of the passage of which no mark can be found, but only the sound of the wings beating the light air, and parting it by the force of her flight: she moved her wings, and hath flown through, and there is no mark found afterwards of her way:
Wis 5:12  Or as when an arrow is shot at a mark, the divided air quickly cometh together again, so that the passage thereof is not known:
Wis 5:13  So we also being born, forthwith ceased to be: and have been able to shew no mark of virtue: but are consumed in our wickedness.
Wis 5:14  Such things as these the sinners said in hell:
Wis 5:15  For the hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the wind, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm: and a smoke that is scattered abroad by the wind: and as the remembrance of a guest of one day that passeth by.



The righteous will be with the Lord.  Notice the armor metaphor, it is similiar to Paul's from the New Testament.


Wis 5:16  But the just shall live for evermore: and their reward is with the Lord, and the care of them with the most High.
Wis 5:17  Therefore shall they receive a kingdom of glory, and a crown of beauty at the hand of the Lord: for with his right hand he will cover them, and with his holy arm he will defend them.
Wis 5:18  And his zeal will take armour, and he will arm the creature for the revenge of his enemies.
Wis 5:19  He will put on justice as a breastplate, and will take true judgment instead of a helmet:
Wis 5:20  He will take equity for an invincible shield:
Wis 5:21  And he will sharpen his severe wrath for a spear, and the whole world shall fight with him against the unwise.
Wis 5:22  Then shafts of lightning shall go directly from the clouds, as from a bow well bent, they shall be shot out, and shall fly to the mark.
Wis 5:23  And thick hail shall be cast upon them from the stone casting wrath: the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the rivers shall run together in a terrible manner.
Wis 5:24  A mighty wind shall stand up against them, and as a whirlwind shall divide them: and their iniquity shall bring all the earth to a desert, and wickedness shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Proverbs 18

Pro 18:20  A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
Pro 18:21  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Pro 18:22  Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
Pro 18:23  The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
Pro 18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. 


We go back to the power of our words today in Proverbs.  We reap what we sow via verse 20, and verse 21 talk about the tongue's power over death and life.

Wisdom Chapter 4

Chapter 3 compared the end of the righteous with the end of the ungodly.  Wis 3:9-11  They that trust in him shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love, shall rest in him: for grace and peace are to his elect. But the wicked shall be punished according to their own devices: who have neglected the just, and have revolted from the Lord.  For he that rejecteth wisdom, and discipline, is unhappy: and their hope is vain, and their labours without fruit, and their works unprofitable.

This ties in with what we are seeing in Proverbs regarding the abandonment of Godly wisdom for worldly wisdom, the rejection of the Lord in favor of our own logic, and the need to accept discipline and correction.

Chapter 4 continues the comparison.

Wis 4:1  How beautiful is the chaste generation with glory: for the memory thereof is immortal: because it is known both with God and with men.
Wis 4:2  When it is present, they imitate it: and they desire it, when it hath withdrawn itself, and it triumpheth crowned for ever, winning the reward of undefiled confiicts.
Wis 4:3  But the multiplied brood of the wicked shall not thrive, and bastard slips shall not take deep root, nor any fast foundation.
Wis 4:4  And if they flourish in branches for a time, yet standing not fast, they shall be shaken with the wind, and through the force of winds they shall be rooted out.
Wis 4:5  For the branches not being perfect, shall be broken, and their fruits shall be unprofitable, and sour to eat, and fit for nothing.
Wis 4:6  For the children that are born of unlawful beds, are witnesses of wickedness against their parents in their trial.


Wis 4:7  But the just man, if he be prevented with death, shall be in rest.
Wis 4:8  For venerable old age is not that of long time, nor counted by the number of years: but the understanding of a man is grey hairs.
Wis 4:9  And a spotless life is old age.


Wis 4:10  He pleased God, and was beloved, and living among sinners, he was translated.
Wis 4:11  He was taken away, lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.
Wis 4:12  For the bewitching of vanity obscureth good things, and the wandering of concupiscence overturneth the innocent mind.
Wis 4:13  Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time.
Wis 4:14  For his soul pleased God: therefore he hastened to bring him out of the midst of iniquities: but the people see this, and understand not, nor lay up such things in their hearts:
Wis 4:15  That the grace of God, and his mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect to his chosen.


Wis 4:16  But the just that is dead, condemneth the wicked that are living, and youth soon ended, the long life of the unjust.
Wis 4:17  For they shall see the end of the wise man, and it shall not understand what God hath designed for him, and why the Lord hath set him in safety.
Wis 4:18  They shall see him, and shall despise him: but the Lord shall laugh them to scorn.
Wis 4:19  And they shall fall after this without honour, and be a reproach among the dead for ever: for he shall burst them puffed up and speechless, and shall shake them from the foundations, and they shall be utterly laid waste: they shall be in sorrow, and their memory shall perish.
Wis 4:20  They shall come with fear at the thought of their sins, and their iniquities shall stand against them to convict them.

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord & Psalm 23

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  Readings are here.

Following last week's Psalm of despair but perfect trust in the Lord, this week we have Psalm 23, which is a favorite of many:


Psa 23:1  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psa 23:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 23:6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Proverbs 18

Pro 18:15  The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
Pro 18:16  A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
Pro 18:17  He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
Pro 18:18  The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
Pro 18:19  A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.


It is good not to offend friends, as they are hard to win back, especially if trust is broken.

Wisdom Chapter 3

Yesterday, in chapter 2, we saw what happens when we start thinking apart from God.  We also saw a Messianic prophecy, though it could also be applied to anyone persecuted for their faith in God.  The end blames the Devil and his envy for bringing death into the world, and points out those that follow him are on his side.  Our flesh will follow him if not brought in line with the will of God.

Wis 3:1  But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them.
Wis 3:2  In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery:
Wis 3:3  And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace.
Wis 3:4  And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality.
Wis 3:5  Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.
Wis 3:6  As gold in the furnace, he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust, he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them.
Wis 3:7  The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds.
Wis 3:8  They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.
Wis 3:9  They that trust in him shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love, shall rest in him: for grace and peace are to his elect. 


Wis 3:10  But the wicked shall be punished according to their own devices: who have neglected the just, and have revolted from the Lord.
Wis 3:11  For he that rejecteth wisdom, and discipline, is unhappy: and their hope is vain, and their labours without fruit, and their works unprofitable.
Wis 3:12  Their wives are foolish, and their children wicked.
Wis 3:13  Their offspring is cursed, for happy is the barren: and the undefiled, that hath not known bed in sin, she shall have fruit in the visitation of holy souls. 


Wis 3:14  And the eunuch, that hath not wrought iniquity with his hands, nor thought wicked things against God for the precious gift of faith shall be given to him, and a most acceptable lot in the temple of God.
Wis 3:15  For the fruit of good labours is glorious, and the root of wisdom never faileth.
Wis 3:16  But the children of adulterers shall not come to perfection, and the seed of the unlawful bed shall be rooted out.
Wis 3:17  And if they live long, they shall be nothing regarded, and their last old age shall be without honour.
Wis 3:18  And if they die quickly, they shall have no hope, nor speech of comfort in the day of trial.
Wis 3:19  For dreadful are the ends of a wicked race.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wisdom Chapter 2

We ended yesterday's chapter with the source of the problem, and it isn't God:


Wis 1:13  For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.
Wis 1:14  For he created all things that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.
Wis 1:15  For justice is perpetual and immortal.
Wis 1:16  But the wicked with works and words have called it to them: and esteeming it a friend, have fallen away and have made a covenant with it: because they are worthy to be of the part thereof.


God did not make us fallen.  We did that to ourselves.  Everything God made is good, but evil corrupts it.

Wis 2:1  For they have said, reasoning with themselves, but not right: The time of our life is short and tedious, and in the end of a man there is no remedy, and no man hath been known to have returned from hell:
Wis 2:2  For we are born of nothing, and after this we shall be as if we had not been: for the breath in our nostrils is smoke: and speech a spark to move our heart,
Wis 2:3  Which being put out, our body shall be ashes, and our spirit shall be poured abroad as soft air, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, which is driven away by the beams of the sun, and overpowered with the heat thereof:
Wis 2:4  And our name in time shall be forgotten, and no man shall have any remembrance of our works.
Wis 2:5  For our time is as the passing of a shadow, and there is no going back of our end: for it is fast sealed, and no man returneth: 


First, they start of reasoning with themselves and leaving out God.  This is a huge problem, because we don't know as much as God and to think we can out think Him is ridiculous.  We do it all the time though.  "God surely can't really expect me to love everyone, maybe I'll do this other thing instead.  It makes sense."  "God surely didn't really mean to say that particular thing is sinful.  I'm sure it is fine, for reasons x, y, and z."  Thus relying on their own reason, they came to the conclusion that the only thing this life has to offer is what we see in front of us.

Wis 2:6  Come, therefore, and let us enjoy the good things that are present, and let us speedily use the creatures as in youth.
Wis 2:7  Let us fill ourselves with costly wine, and ointments: and let not the flower of the time pass by us.
Wis 2:8  Let us crown ourselves with roses, before they be withered: let no meadow escape our riot.
Wis 2:9  Let none of us go without his part in luxury: let us every where leave tokens of joy: for this is our portion, and this our lot. 



This doesn't sound so bad.  They're just trying to have a good time?  It doesn't stop there.

Wis 2:10  Let us oppress the poor just man, and not spare the widow, nor honour thc ancient grey hairs of the aged.
Wis 2:11  But let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth. 


Might is right.  That which is weak is worthless.  If you have no use to society, then you are of no value.

Wis 2:12  Let us, therefore, lie in wait for the just, because he is not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law, and divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life.
Wis 2:13  He boasteth that he hath the knowledge of God, and calleth himself the son of God.
Wis 2:14  He is become a censurer of our thoughts.
Wis 2:15  He is grievous unto us, even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, and his ways are very different.
Wis 2:16  We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just, and glorieth that he hath God for his father.
Wis 2:17  Let us see then if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be.
Wis 2:18  For if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies.
Wis 2:19  Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his meekness, and try his patience.
Wis 2:20  Let us condemn him to a most shameful death: for there shall be respect had unto him by his words. 



Verse 13 speaks of the son of God.  These passages could reference the persecution any righteous face, but can also be more directly applied to Jesus and His suffering for our sake.  He became a censurer of thoughts, and a bother to them.  And so they will condemn him to a shameful death after torture to try his patience.

Wis 2:21  These things they thought, and were deceived: for their own malice blinded them.
Wis 2:22  And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honour of holy souls.
Wis 2:23  For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him.
Wis 2:24  But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world:
Wis 2:25  And they follow him that are of his side. 


Well, that's unpleasantly clear, isn't it?  God did not create us to sin, and yet sin we do.  We are deceived.  We oppose the Divine Plan for our lives when we engage in sin, and our not following God when we do wrong.  It is no wonder then we are not counted worthy to enter Heaven without God doing something for us that we're not capable of doing ourselves.

Proverbs 18

Pro 18:9  He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
Pro 18:10  The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Pro 18:11  The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.
Pro 18:12  Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
Pro 18:13  He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Pro 18:14  The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? 


Wow!  There's a lot going on here today.  In verses 10 and 11, we can see the difference between placing our trust in God and placing our trust in wealth.  Wealth is no strong city and no high wall, as I think has become more evident recently to people if it was not before.  Yet we are safe with God, no matter what happens to our jobs, homes, or ability to buy things.

Verse 11 is similar to the other Proverbs that reference pride going before destruction, or before a fall.  Humility comes before honor as well, the opposite.  Even if this doesn't happen in this life, it will happen at the end.  Jesus wants us to be humble.

I think we all are guilty of coming to a conclusion or coming up with a quick answer before we hear all the details.  I'm pretty good at it!  It is like name that tune, only we do it with arguments or ideas or debates and it is far less entertaining.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The book of Wisdom

Now that we're done with Philippians, I thought we'd go back and run through the book of Wisdom.  This is also known as the Wisdom of Solomon.  You won't find this in a Protestant Bible, though it was included in the first versions of the KJV as an appendix.  It is one of the seven books found in Catholic Bibles not included in others.  The why that is would take too long to explain this post, so it is what it is.

It really is a beautiful book, especially if we keep in mind the idea of Jesus as God's wisdom.  Several verses have been linked to Jesus and His Passion specifically.

For this segment on the blog, I'll be using the DRB (Douay-Rheims Bible) instead of the KJV.

Wis 1:1  Love justice, you that are the judges of the earth. Think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart:
Wis 1:2  For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himself to them that have faith in him.
Wis 1:3  For perverse thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise:
Wis 1:4  For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins.
Wis 1:5  For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when iniquity cometh in. 


Wis 1:6  For the spirit of wisdom is benevolent, and will not acquit the evil speaker from his lips: for God is witness of his reins, and he is a true searcher of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
Wis 1:7  For the Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world: and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice.
Wis 1:8  Therefore he that speaketh unjust things, cannot be hid, neither shall the chastising judgment pass him by.
Wis 1:9  For inquisition shall be made into the thoughts of the ungodly, and the hearing of his words shall come to God, to the chastising of his iniquities.
Wis 1:10  For the ear of jealousy heareth all things, and the tumult of murmuring shall not be hid.
Wis 1:11  Keep yourselves, therefore, from murmuring, which profiteth nothing, and refrain your tongue from detraction, for an obscure speech shall not go for nought: and the mouth that belieth, killeth the soul.
Wis 1:12  Seek not death in the error of your life, neither procure ye destruction by the works of your hands.
Wis 1:13  For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.
Wis 1:14  For he created all things that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.
Wis 1:15  For justice is perpetual and immortal. 


Wis 1:16  But the wicked with works and words have called it to them: and esteeming it a friend, have fallen away and have made a covenant with it: because they are worthy to be of the part thereof.  


I think the book of Wisdom may be my most favorite in the Bible.

Proverbs 18

Pro 18:1  Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
Pro 18:2  A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
Pro 18:3  When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.
Pro 18:4  The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
Pro 18:5  It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
Pro 18:6  A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
Pro 18:7  A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
Pro 18:8  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

I went all the way to verse 8 today to keep the last three together.  It is all about how our mouths can get us into trouble if we're not careful, a theme often repeated in the Bible.

Jas 3:3  Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Jas 3:4  Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Jas 3:5  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
Jas 3:6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Jas 3:7  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
Jas 3:8  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Jas 3:10  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Jas 3:11  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Jas 3:12  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yet Thou Art Holy

I am reading Psalm 22 this week. As I discussed on my Sunday post, it is an obvious reference to Jesus. He quotes the first verse on the cross, and we can see how the rest relates to Christ, His suffering and death, and His glorious triumph over death.

It was written by David and also is about his circumstance. God can pack many layers of meaning and reference into a verse.

In the first two verses, David is upset because he doesn't think God is helping him or paying attention to him or his cries. God is not answering him. He feels forsaken.

"Yet thou art holy," verse three begins. Even though David doesn't feel God, even though there's no evidence God is helping him, even though he thinks God has abandoned him, David calls God holy. God's existence and holiness is independent of how we feel about Him in any moment. David felt forsaken, but knew God was still God.

We can feel like God doesn't exist. We can be angry or hurt or sad or indifferent to Him, but He is still holy. The Truth is not swayed by our emotions. And we know that God will come to our rescue, as He already has, if we trust in Him regardless of our feelings.



End of 17!

Pro 17:24  A man of understanding sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
Pro 17:25  A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.
Pro 17:26  To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good; to flog noble men is wrong.
Pro 17:27  He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Pro 17:28  Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.


We are chugging right along, even with Christmas and New Year's!  This is the second time in just a few verses it is pointed out that a foolish son is a problem for his parents.  Just think about all the problematic kids, young adults, and even adults you know.  It is so true!

I try to remember verse 27, as it goes back to keeping silent when we usually want to talk!  Apparently telling someone off is not what they deserve or what we should do, no matter what the world tells us.  We'll look better if we just keep our mouths shut, even if it is for all the wrong reasons.  Even a fool who says nothing looks wise!

Philippians

Php 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Php 4:20  Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Php 4:21  Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
Php 4:22  All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.
Php 4:23  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


And now Paul's letter is complete.  What a great letter!  It is known for its joy and lack of massive doctrinal discussions, something Paul's other letters have in abundance.  It isn't that the other letters don't have joy, but in a lot of them he's putting the smack down on bad doctrine in the churches, and that's always a little less happy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Proverbs 17

Pro 17:19  He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
Pro 17:20  He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
Pro 17:21  He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
Pro 17:22  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Pro 17:23  A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.


Science backs up verse 22.  People who are happy and content are generally healthier than people who are unhappy, stressed, and anxious.  It is bad for the heart, literally.

Philippians

Happy New Year!  May 2011 be full of peace and joy for you.


Php 4:14  Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
Php 4:15  Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
Php 4:16  For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
Php 4:17  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
Php 4:18  But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.


Paul is wrapping up his letter now, thanking them once again for their helpful contribution.  They were the only church that was helping him out, and they'd done it more than once.  Giving to others, such as Paul, is pleasing to God.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord and Psalm 22

Today is the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Readings are here.  You can read more about this holiday here and here.

Today we also start Psalm 22 for the week.  The first verse is recognizable as being said by Jesus, while He was dying on the cross.


Psa 22:1  To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
Psa 22:2  O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 


Psa 22:3  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Psa 22:4  Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
Psa 22:5  They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 


Psa 22:6  But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
Psa 22:7  All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
Psa 22:8  He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 


Psa 22:9  But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
Psa 22:10  I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
Psa 22:11  Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 


Psa 22:12  Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
Psa 22:13  They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 


Psa 22:14  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
Psa 22:15  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 


Psa 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Psa 22:17  I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
Psa 22:18  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 


Psa 22:19  But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
Psa 22:20  Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
Psa 22:21  Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. 


Psa 22:22  I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Psa 22:23  Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
Psa 22:24  For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. 


Psa 22:25  My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
Psa 22:26  The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. 


Psa 22:27  All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
Psa 22:28  For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations. 


Psa 22:29  All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
Psa 22:30  A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
Psa 22:31  They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.


Henry's commentary on this chapter starts off with this: 
The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, as clearly and fully as any where in all the Old Testament, “the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow” (1Pe_1:11); of him, no doubt, David here speaks, and not of himself, or any other man. Much of it is expressly applied to Christ in the New Testament, all of it may be applied to him, and some of it must be understood of him only. The providences of God concerning David were so very extraordinary that we may suppose there were some wise and good men who then could not but look upon him as a figure of him that was to come.