Tag Archives: Lord

B90X2012 “Lamentations”

Lamentations-  Originally the title of the book was “Ah, how!” from the Hebrew words ‘ek ah.

This short book is not connected to a specific author or prophet, however, tradition puts it in the lap of Jeremiah.  It is mainly composed of funeral songs for Jerusalem.  Since Jeremiah does not deport in the exile, he has time to survey the damage left by the departure of the presence of Father.   The year is 586 B.C., the Babylonian King is furious with his Vassal Zedekiah who would not keep his word.  The temple is completely sacked and the city is left in piles of rubble.  The people weep from the feeling that God has abandoned them.  The poems show the people’s sense of guilt, confession, and repentance as they realize how deeply they have hurt God by their sin and unfaithfulness.

Structure-  The book is made up of five chapters or sections.  Each of the sections is an acrostic, meaning that the Hebrew alphabet is used to start each verse or line of the section.  So verse 1 is starts with the letter ‘a’, verse 2 starts with the letter ‘b’, verse 3 starts with the letter ‘c’, and so on.  Since there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, you see the number of verses in chapters 1, 2, 4, and 5.  The only one which is different is chapter 3 which repeats the pattern three times, hence the 66 verses.  Also look for patterns of three.  Either three lines in each verse or three verses clumped together.

The laments express the full impact of the covenant curses and prophetic pronouncements of judgments at the horror of the people’s loss is realized.  The city was the place God had chosen for his temple to be built and his presence to be manifest.  Its destruction represents not only the loss of homes and life but also the abandonment of the people by God.  He withdrew his presence and his favor as he said he would if the people were unfaithful.

Key concepts-
Lament targets not only one’s situation but one’s spiritual condition.
Any circumstance in life can provide an opportunity to know God better.

The highlight of the book is in chapter 3 where, in first-person form, the full grief of the poet is revealed.  He gives voice to the despair of the corporate people and the personified city.  But at the bottom of his grief he turns to the unfailing faithfulness of the LORD and his compassion toward his people.  The call to repentance anticipates God’s acts of deliverance and mercy for his people and judgment on the enemies who carried out the destruction.  The book ends in a fervent prayer of restoration.

Key Teachings about God-
God’s wrath is terrible.
God is righteous and will judge.
God’s faithfulness and compassion never fail.
God is good to those who hope in him.

The key verses of hope are found in 3:22-27 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”

B90X2012- Refuge

I have to admit that I was a few day behind in my reading.  With all of the work that we did on the church Living Room and working on my best Mephibosheth, the days melded into one another.

The story of Mephibosheth is a short one Biblically, however the information surrounding the events of his life are prolific.

In catching up with my reading, I found myself deeply entrenched in the story of Saul and David.  It was sooooo cool reading the Psalms David wrote quickly after he managed to elude Saul and his army.   Unless you are super-privy to which Psalm is written when historically and chronologically, one can just read through the Psalms and not really pay much attention.

As I read the historical account then bounced to the psalmist account of the same incidents, I found the correlations fascinating.

There was a word which seemed to pop up in Psalms more than any other word, not by empirical evidence, just familiar sacredness.  The word and idea was “refuge.”

Refuge has its origins in the cities established and set-up by God as safe-havens for anyone killed someone else and needed a ‘safe’ place to hang out until the evidence and ‘trial’ took place.  As long as the action was accidental and not deliberate, the murderer was safe.  More can be read about them here.

I think that David was using the word to describe Father as one who is a place of shelter, protection, or safety, not necessarily a city of Refuge.  However, the pictorial reference is nice.

The point is that regardless of where we are in life, the only true and real place of shelter, protection, and safety is in God.  He is our only safe and secure hope in life.

LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue
me,

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

B90X Jan. 5, 2012 “Randomness and Names”

You are probably just getting to the place where you say, “Man the Bible is awesome!”  And you are probably just to the place where you are saying, “Man how do I keep up this pace of reading?”  Stay at it.  You can do it.  So many have before you. Trust me, you will develop habits and patterns which will help in the discipline of reading everyday.

Here we are friends, just about half way through Genesis.  Wasn’t it so cool reading all of Job after starting Genesis?  I loved that.  I can’t wait to see how it works out through the rest of the books.

One thing I noticed today as I was reading was randomness.  There would be a flow in a story and boom, from out of nowhere, there is a shift in thought or action that seems so out of place.  One of those places was Genesis 36:24.  Nearly all of Chapter 36 is a genealogy of Esau’s kin.  The sons of Zibeon are listed with one of them being Anah.  Then just out of nowhere in an attempt to clarify which Anah the author is referring, Anah is described.  ”This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the desert while he was grazing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.”

Now, as you may well know, after reading this, I stopped to think about what I just read, and came up with all sorts of questions.  Do you ever do that?  Do you find something and ruminate on it?  It is sort of a restless inquisitiveness of mine.   Anyways, I digress.  Here is a smattering of some of the things I was thinking of:

Where are these hot springs?
How hot are they?
Did anyone ever visit there before Anah discovered them?
What were the surroundings like? Lush? Dry and sandy?
Was he alone when he was herding his donkeys?
Did he jump in as he discovered them?
Did this become a destination for others?
Did it turn into a resort?
Are they there today and what do they look like?

Then there was the flow of names.  The endless list of names.  All the begat-ting, all the genealogies, all the lineage.  I have to be honest, there have been times in the past when I would come to a list of names and just skip over them.  Come on, I know you have done it too.  This time through, I decided to do something different, read them all.  Really try to pronounce the name.  Try to get a feel for what that persons name would sound like for a mother or father to say it several times a day.

Isn’t it cool how someone was named based on the circumstances of the moment? If a man was in a tight spot, he would name his kid Tight Spot.  Another may be ‘band of raiders’ or ‘he provides justice.’  Nearly all names have a form of the Lord’s name embedded in it.  Constant reminders every time the person’s name is breathed, who it is which is behind all of human life.

I have to admit there are some pretty funny sounding names.  And for a family to have two names of children so close in sound to each other side by side.  It makes me chuckle.  Like Ishvah and Ishvi (Gen 46:17).  Or Muppim and Huppim (46:21), I wonder what those mean?  One of the funniest names has to be Oholibamah.  For some reason the face of a contemporary flashes through my mental faculties every time I read it.

Have a great day.  Grace and peace.

78th Day of B90X (Acts 6:8- 16:37)

Good afternoon everyone from Oconomowoc, WI~

 We are into our last ten days of reading.  Way to go!  This has been a really great journey through the Bible.  It doesn’t matter how many times I have read through it, I am always intrigued at something new.  The story of Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit born out through humanity and planet earth is like no other.

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67th Day-O, where’d my ‘A’ go? (Hab 1:1- Zech 10:12)

I went ahead and ripped through the rest of Zechariah and Malachi.  Hard to believe we knocked out that much reading in 67 days!  Quite an accomplishment with everything else going on in life.  Stay faithful friends and saints.  The riches of reading all of God’s words far outweigh any knowledge and satisfaction gained from watching Celebrity Apprentice.

 Just a few books to highlight and we are moving on to the New Testament~~

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