Proverbs 8 (The Message MSG)

I am slightly disappointed. I had a whole post ready during a convo. Didn’t write it down. Just know, we were excited about it. Lol.

What I will say, cuz it came up too, don’t surround yourself with people who see who you used to be and don’t see who you are or who you are becoming. Don’t surround yourself with people who can’t support you and don’t listen to your heart.

Purpose, destiny, and goals are hard enough without having to defend them and you to others. Constructive, supportive criticism is necessary. Contrary doubt is not. Planes need wind to fly. Make sure you have the right wind.

Onto this delayed Proverbs post.

1-11 Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling?
    Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?
She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
    at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square
    where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
“You—I’m talking to all of you,
    everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
    You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
    I’m telling you how to live at your best.
My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—
    I can’t stand the taste of evil!
You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth;
    not one syllable will be twisted or skewed.
You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds;
    truth-ready minds will see it at once.
Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,
    and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.
For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth;
    nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.

Wisdom and insight play no games. They aren’t here for the foolishness. Lol. Discipline and God-knowledge over money and career-I dig it.

12-21 “I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
    Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
The Fear-of-God means hating Evil,
    whose ways I hate with a passion—
    pride and arrogance and crooked talk.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
    I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.
With my help, leaders rule,
    and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
    along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me;
    those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me—
    also substantial Honor and a Good Name.
My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
    the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
    at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
    filling their arms with life—armloads of life!

Yo. Wisdom is the truth. According to the author, she gives us so much. It costs to get wisdom. The cost is worth it though. You get soooooo much in return!

22-31 “God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—
    before he did anything else.
I was brought into being a long time ago,
    well before Earth got its start.
I arrived on the scene before Ocean,
    yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes.
Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape,
    I was already there, newborn;
Long before God stretched out Earth’s Horizons,
    and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather,
And set Sky firmly in place,
    I was there.
When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean,
    built the vast vault of Heaven,
    and installed the fountains that fed Ocean,
When he drew a boundary for Sea,
    posted a sign that said no trespassing,
And then staked out Earth’s Foundations,
    I was right there with him, making sure everything fit.
Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause,
    always enjoying his company,
Delighted with the world of things and creatures,
    happily celebrating the human family.

Sounds like wisdom was actually the first thing created. And it makes sense. Wisdom is a guide. In order to be guided there has to be a guide.

32-36 “So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
    those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
    don’t squander your precious life.
Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
    awake and ready for me each morning,
    alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
    to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.
But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
    when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”

Tuh. We better take heed to wisdom….

It Doesn’t Fit

This should be short, simple, and straight to the point.

In Silence and a Silent God, I discussed David (read the blog and you can find this in the Bible in 1 or 2 Kings. Go read it for yourself! 😊) having armor that didn’t fit.

David had killed something people feared before it was time to kill Goliath and the others. A lion and a bear. Oh my. Lol.

When it came time for him to kill Goliath, though he had a past of killing what harmed the animals, what people ran from, King Saul gave him something that wasn’t suited for him.

I don’t think David detailed for them that he had killed the lion and bear. I could go read it. But I have. And, again, you should if you’re unfamiliar. He just confidently said he could kill them.

He was gracious. He tried the armor. That’s what they wore in battle. But it was custom made. It was for Saul. Not David.

Whew. Just because it worked in the past and worked for others, doesn’t mean it will for us. The armor didn’t fit David. Nor did the method fit God’s plan.

David took a slingshot and five stones. And killed five giants. At this point, he already knew he would be king.

I imagine that this method was more for David than anyone else. Romans 1:17 in the King James Version says from faith to faith. I’ve heard it taught that you develop faith in one area or a small thing that levels you up for faith in another thing or bigger area.

He dealt with the lion and bear to be able to deal with the giants to be able to deal with running from Saul to be able to deal with leading the Israelites in war. He had to deal with the small stuff, develop a relationship with and trust in God on a small scale. This led to bigger stuff and bigger faith on bigger scales.

Find out what works. Find out what fits. Go with that and God. He equips who He calls (Hebrews 13:21). We have everything we need to be everything He needs.

Silence and a Silent God

I started out with the intention on writing about silence. Almost immediately, a silent God came to mind as well.

The Bible says study to be quiet (1 Thessalonians 4:11). If you haven’t noticed, I have the capability to use a lot of words. I’ve always been talkative.

Wow. I read the Scripture to link it and either forgot, most likely, or never knew it said to mind your business. But. As I’ve gotten older, due to the way my relationships accross the board have shaken out, I’ve just learned to be quiet and mind my business.

Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I fail. However, I’ve learned that you don’t have to respond to everything. You don’t always have to have something to say. You don’t always have to be right. And you don’t always have to have the last word. It’s interesting that people like that have told me and taught me that.

By virtue of embracing life as is, I have learned to just sit in silence. I don’t have to have noise. I can sit at home with just my thoughts. I can ride in cars with or without people and not say a word. Shocking I’m sure.

I think it is a result of the peace I have. Peace that I worked hard for. Peace I fight to maintain. Growing up there was so much noise. And I don’t necessarily mean actual noise. Turmoil. No peace. Pain. Trauma. Voices.

I ran from it. Life has put me back in it. And I’ve run again. And again. I just don’t do well with foolishness now that I’ve been away from it. God gave me the peace and I gotta have it.

But sometimes, He tries it. Lol. What do you do when you believe you were given instructions but then it doesn’t shake out how you expected? What do you do when you’ve seen a glimpse of your future but have no idea how to get there? What do you do when you have prayed and things are getting worse?

Come here favorite King. David.

David was just living life and minding his business. He was out in the fields being a shepherd. He was the little brother nobody was really worried about. He was busy away from the family. Just having encounters. He was out there tending to animals. Killing a lion and bear.

One day, this man named Samuel came to his daddy’s house asking about his dad’s sons. His daddy (I was gonna name him. But Ima be petty just like him) paraded all of David’s brothers in front of Samuel.

They didn’t even think enough of David to call him in when Samuel asked about the sons. After everyone had come through, Samuel was like is this it? There are no more sons?

One somebody was like oh yeah. Lil David. He’s out in the field. I’m sure Samuel was exasperated. He asked for them all. He was like go get him.

Once David arrived, Samuel was like dis it. Dis da one. He poured oil, a substance that signifies the anointing of God, all over the boy in front of his entire family. Now, it may be here or at the onset that Samuel states why he’s there. They definitely know now. It is to anoint the new king.

Also, David might not have killed the bear and lion yet. I want y’all to read and see for yourselves. That’s why I tell y’all where to go and/or link it. Don’t just take my word for it. Alla this so far is in 1 or 2 Kings. Just search for David.

Mans stays right at that house for the time being. Continues doing what he’s doing. Eventually, he ends up at the palace with Saul. Who knows he’s done as king. Now, I don’t remember if he knows that David is his replacement when he first meets him.

They have their first encounter because nobody can kill the giant Philistines. David is like I gotchu. They give him someone else’s armor. Doesn’t work. Doesn’t fit. I’m gonna blog about that.

David is like I’m good. Ima just use this slingshot and these stones. He kills all five of them. Grace. That’s what five symbolizes.

At this point, David is the most loved among the Israelites. I believe he stays in the palace. Saul loves him. Saul’s son Jonathan becomes his best friend. Saul has an evil spirit come on him that David eases by playing music on a harp. All is well. For a time.

Davis eventually has to flee Saul who turns on him. David was a runner, a track star. He had to survive. The book of Psalms is littered with songs he wrote during this time and later while having to fight. First for his life then for the kingdom.

Though God is with him and allows all of this, he questioned God. Wouldn’t you? He was minding his business and then the man of God, Samuel, comes and tells him he’s next for the top position. Things look to be on track. He goes and gets firsthand experience and exposure. And then this?

Where are You God? Where did You go? Why did You show me this? Why did You get me out here on faith to let ALL of this happen to me?

He seemed like he was silent. David cultivated his worship. He had to put at top of mind who God had been. Who God was as He took care of him while he was on the run. There’s so much and this is getting long. He went through it but never lost lost. It looked like he lost at times. But it was just a set up and preparation for where he was going.

He eventually ascended to the throne. But not without one last loss. His friend Jonathan died. In her awesome, forthcoming book, my person who has a title that can’t be articulated but blogs here, discusses the fact that Jonathan has a son, Mephibosheth. He was injured when he fled the palace as the transition took place.

She writes/teaches that in those days the entire family of the previous king was killed. The bloodline was destroyed. She then reminded me that David wanted to know if anyone in Saul’s family was still alive.

I’m sure Mephibosheth freaked out when he heard. I mean God probably seemed super silent to him too. He lost his daddy, his grandfather, and his daggone nanny dropped him when they left the palace so now he can no longer walk correctly.

What Mephibosheth did not know or did not remember was that his daddy and the king were such good friends they were like brothers. David wanted to honor the bond. He fetched Mephibosheth and put him in position as if he were his son-that last part came paraphrased from the bomb book I’m gone keep plugging before and after it comes out!

God kept His plan on track. David just got there in a way that he didn’t imagine. In what seemed like silence but was the path God knew he needed. Not only did the way things turn out give “voice” to David of God’s plan, but the way he took care of Mephibosheth allowed God to “speak” to the child who thought all was gone and lost.

God is never truly silent. Sometimes we just have to sit in silence and examine where He is and what He is doing. As I’ve been saying lately, there are no losses just lessons.

Even when we know better and make mistakes. Cuz David surely did. Even after he had spent time with God and been taken care of by Him. Paul said it best-one of my fave verses-and we know ALL things work together for good (Romans 8:28 paraphrase).

How refreshing that silence with a silent God can lead to a person having a life that still speaks thousands of years later. I see you David.

Be the greatness God created today. Someone is counting on it!

That’s All They Know-Keep Building

I’m starting to come to terms with why a lot of things happened to me.

I, honestly, don’t have grace for some of it. If I asked you for something and you shut me down, I kinda can’t give you a pass.

But, for other things, it’s all they knew. It’s difficult to do something or be something when you haven’t been shown any different.

It’s easy for us to judge and condemn people when we see them through our eyes. True maturity comes when we can put our hurt and trauma on the seat beside us and see them as they are.

A lot of what bothers me is wrapped up in church and church people. The buildings and what we have created. Not the Church as outlined in the Bible.

It bothers me because the words in the Book give us instructions. For various reasons, people choose to operate based on what they were taught and saw.

They don’t ask for new revelation. They don’t ask for God to speak to them to relate to what is going on around us now. Because that’s not what they saw people do.

I’ve experienced what can be as a child when I first came to Christ. I’ve paid attention to the words in the Book and the words across the pulpit.

At times, or at least reflecting, it is curious to me that the Book is taught but then it isn’t lived or allowed to be put into action.

I’m finding more grace and more love. It is also, as I have experienced, hard to maintain better or different when you are around the old or what you don’t like.

If you have been tasked with being different or showing something other than what you’re accustomed to seeing, I’m praying for you. It isn’t easy. It’s hard. It’s lonely. It will make you feel crazy.

In the book of Nehemiah, The children of Israel were in captivity. Nehemiah found out that some of the Jews had escaped to Jerusalem. But, the walls were torn down.

This grieved Nehemiah. The King saw his sadness and asked what was wrong. He told him and got permission to rebuild the wall.

Different people mocked Nehemiah and the others for rebuilding it. One called them feeble in the King James Version. People even conspired to keep them from building.

They were not swayed. They prayed to God for help. Nehemiah stayed on the wall and kept building it. He encouraged the people and reminded them of who God was.

They successfully completed the rebuild and then repopulated the city. With the help of God, the remnant of the people restored who and what they were in the place God promised Abraham long before.

Whatever you’re building, don’t let anything stop you. If God sent you to it, keep building. Even if life feels like it’s holding you in captivity. Even if people are doubting you. Even if you don’t make sense or seem crazy. I’m talking to me too.

For some, broken Jerusalem and captivity was all they knew. I didn’t research to see if Nehemiah lived in Jerusalem before this. Whether he did or didn’t, he was aware of their history as a people. He had a relationship with God.

He was able to speak to the people and get them to the place. He called out their issues and fears. He told them who they were and who their God was. He built physically, spiritually, and mentally.

If you see any part of you in this and you are struggling, be encouraged. KEEP BUILDING!

Salvation

As a believer in/of the Apostle’s doctrine, Acts 2:38 is the Scripture that is the foundation for my salvation.

One cannot take that Scripture in isolation. Just like one should not take Romans 10:13 (for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”) or Acts 2:21 (And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’) or Matthew 28:19 (Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:).

There are so many things in the Old Testament that point to the new. There are so many things in the New Testament that point to the old. Scripture often needs to be studied across books and Testaments to fully understand. The events of the Old Testament take place in certain chapters, but there are explanations and illuminations in other chapters.

Prime example: David. We meet him in Kings. His lineage is discussed in Chronicles. His songs, while he was living what is discussed in Kings, show up in Psalms. The lineage of Jesus includes him in Matthew. I’m sure he’s mentioned again before this, but, John writes in Revelation 22:16 about Jesus acknowledging that he (Jesus) is the root and offspring of David.

If one stopped at any one place alone and let that be all they knew of David, one would not have a full picture of who he is.

The same is 100% true, in my opinion as someone who has been around church and the Bible since before birth of these 35 years, eight months, 10 days, seven hours, and 43 minutes as of this moment, of Salvation.

In Matthew 16:13, Jesus is talking to the disciples. He asks who men say he is. They throw out examples of the people who they’ve heard Him compared to that they’ve been taught about via Scripture. Their history as Jews. Matthew 16:14

Jesus asked them who they say He is. Matthew 16:15 Simon speaks up and says he’s the Christ the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16

Jesus is like. My guy. My boy! He tells him that flesh and blood, people, other men, didn’t give him that understanding. He said God, His Father in heaven told him. Matthew 16:17

Then, Jesus did something the Lord did three times. At least three that come to mind. Which I see the significance of, even if I’m wrong about the number, three represents the Trinity. We will get there.

The Lord changed Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17:5) , Sarai to Sarah (Genesis 17:15), and Jacob to Israel (Genesis 35:10).

Here, Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter. Or actually Petras. Meaning rock. Jesus went on to say upon this rock, this foundation, this revelation, I will build my church.

This was before the death, burial, and resurrection. While having other conversations and teaching the people, mainly the disciples, Jesus promised over and over to send a Comforter. To send a Spirit. Not a ghost.

The translations from the original Greek make it interesting when it is in English. Just like there are words in English and other languages that don’t quite translate correctly, the same could be said about the interchangeable phrases Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit.

When we get to Matthew 28:19, Jesus has returned to them to show them that he did what he said he would. He is sending them to wait for the Comforter as promised. He is speaking in third person.

He is the Father, He is the Son, and He is the Holy Ghost.

To explain this to my eight year old nephew the other day, I told him that he has a mind, he has a body, and he has a soul. The mind is God, the body is Jesus, and the soul is the Holy Ghost. But all of them together are his name. All of those together are the name Jesus.

So, the disciples and some others go to Jerusalem and wait like Jesus said. Some get impatient and leave. It ends up being 50 days of waiting. Acts 1 & 2.

In Acts 2, the promise is fulfilled. Something that sounded like a mighty rushing wind came in the place they were sitting. Acts 2:2 The imagery of the author! It goes on to say cloven tongues, or tongues that looked like they were on fire and separated, came and sat on them. Acts 2:3 Then they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.

See what I mean about interchangeable? That’s a quote/paraphrase of the King James Version (KJV). I cite a place that has many so it can be truly understood by the reader in various translations.

They were clearly loud and excited. People walked by confused. They were wondering how all of them could hear their language and other languages all at the same time. They wondered if the people were drunk.

My guy (I decided not too long ago that he’s my fave!), Peter, who is only going by that and not Simon or Simon Peter, realizes what’s going on outside.

That brings us to Acts 2:38. Well closer. He tells them the ppl aren’t drunk. He goes on to preach a sermon. And what do you know, he mentions David (I had to go read it to write this accurately). He mentions Jesus along with some other people in Scripture and portions of it.

As he begins to end his message, we get to Acts 2:38. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

The one who Jesus said would be the rock, the foundation. The one with the revelation. Peter. He is the one who goes and tells them what is going on. He says baptism in Jesus name. Not father, son, and Holy Ghost. He knew that Jesus was speaking in third person. He knew that Jesus had said he was one with the father. He knew that Jesus said the Comforter that was coming was His. Trinity. Three. But all three are One.

Oh, and those Scriptures about calling on Jesus? They were written by a man named Saul. I started to paraphrase. But here it is in the King James Version. Acts 9:

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. 10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Saul, who eventually went by Paul (I was gonna say his name was changed. I searched for the Scripture and found this) was intimately familiar with the Old Testament. And he had to have been familiar with the teaching of and about Jesus prior to his conversion-the basis for the persecution. He then spent time with the disciples of Jesus. As he continued in ministry, his relationship with Jesus continued.

As a Christian who believes the Bible, we should believe the Scripture that says all Scripture is given (written) by inspiration of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul wrote that.

He wasn’t taking credit. He was saying he received what he said after praying. Like they did when they waited for the Holy Spirit. Like they did every time they talked to Jesus. They got to pray in person. (This is what we consider prayer today. There are other ways and reasons to pray that have deeper meanings and reasons. But, at its core, base level, prayer is simply a conversation with Jesus.)

If you have not received Salvation, or received it as outlined here, and would like to, it is still available to you. Email me at karlissa.ann@yahoo.com if you want to discuss it and be pointed somewhere locally. Or look up Holiness, Pentecostal, or Apostolic churches near you.

Someone will baptize you in the name of Jesus for the remission of your sins. Make sure they do it in His name! If they don’t, move to the next place on the list.

You can receive the Holy Spirit wherever you are. You just have to believe the Scripture is true. That Jesus died for the remission of sins to save you. You just have to believe the Holy Spirit is real and can fill you. Ask him for it. Then receive it.

Now, while you can receive it wherever, if you have not received the baptism of the Spirit as evidenced by tongues prior to water baptism, whoever you go to for baptism will pray with you to receive it.

I don’t even know how to end this one. I hope this helped and made sense. If you have ANY questions, please feel free to email me at karlissa.ann@yahoo.com. I don’t know everything. If we are still at an impasse, I will find someone who may be able to get us all the way together.

Jesus loves you. He died for you. He was born JUST to die. He stands waiting with open arms.

Whatever you need can be found in Jesus. Whatever you’re dealing with can be made easier with Jesus. Go peruse some of these blogs. I’m telling you what I know. I am only alive and didn’t commit suicide or become an addict as a result of trauma and pain because of Jesus.

He can fill any void and fix any problem. It won’t be easy. That isn’t promised. But it will be better. It will be more manageable. He loves you.

Anchored

My nephew is legit one of my best friends and favorite people. He’s a super honest kid. He reminds my mother and me of me. So, when he says I am one of his best friends, I believe him.

I believe the kid trusts me. I believe he loves me. I believe he wants me around as much as possible due to how intentional I am with him and how we relate to each other.

Oh my goodness. I just got wind of where this blog is going. I’m going to take my time.

I used to deal with him a lil harshly. I won’t detail why in full. But one day, I reflected on it. I felt bad. He’s a kid. He’s learning, growing, exploring.

I knew there had to be a better way than how I was treated. I put myself in his shoes. I never physically punished him again. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve apologized every time it’s happened.

I even made sure I wasn’t too loud when I was stern yesterday. He is a child who has to be reminded quite often. But that’s okay. It’s my job to regulate my emotions and create a space where he knows he can mess up but receives correction. A space where we discuss why he isn’t listening or why he does what he does.

I’ve started to tell him to fix certain things he knows he shouldn’t do. If I tell him his decision to not listen hurts my feelings or disappoints me, he doesn’t like that.

He did something at the wedding set up. I talked to him and voiced my frustration. He asked me if I was going to stop talking to him. I told him yes. I legit took his best friend away and could see it in his face and body. Lol. It was only for a little while and I reiterated why.

I was sooooo tired yesterday. Barely any sleep. A full day Friday at the wedding. Then we had a full day out of the house. I hit a wall. l kept letting him know where I was at. That I had nothing to give. So he would understand why I wasn’t talking and wanted him to stop. Lol.

As we went home to end the day, I told him I loved him. His response was and you can’t do nothing about it. Maybe he said I love you back first. But, he said that in response because of a song his mother sang as a child that I taught him a few years ago. I promise I’m gonna eventually get where I’m going.

The song says: I love you and I love you. And you can’t do nothing about it. Cuz I love you and I love you. Love is kind all the time. Love is true because I love you. I love you ans I love you. And you can’t do nothing about it.

I know who came up with it. If you steal it I’m gonna get her money from you. Lol.

I was still confused. I had to get an understanding as to why that was his response. He told me I couldn’t do anything about him loving me. I, in turn, told him the same thing.

I try to let him be. Listen. Play outside even though Ion like being hot. I spent most of my childhood inside. Shoot. Most of my life. I’m gonna change that and explore God’s big beautiful creation.

God is our anchor. He is our safe place. We can, and should, trust Him. No matter the circumstance or situation, we should be the boat attached to the anchor. It drifts and sways with the water. But, it always has the anchor to go back to. It can only go so far as long as it is anchored.

When I’ve failed and messed up, I wasn’t focused on the anchor. A boat can be anchored and hit another boat. It can cause some damage. But, when a boat is not anchored or being steered, utter destruction is possible.

I’ve pulled anchor. I’ve failed to let the Word of God steer me. It led to trouble. But, a coast guard was sent for me. Another boat, aware of how a boat should be anchored or steered, came to my aid.

Now for the OMG part to get this boat to shore. Cuz I had no idea I was gonna write those last three paragraphs.

I said I used to deal harshly with my nephew. Under the law of the Old Testament, God dealt harshly with His people. It was as if He said “I gave you rules and instructions. I made a promise to you. I expect you to follow my rules. I’ve held up My end of the bargain. You should too. But, because you won’t, punishment shall continue to be your portion. I’ll still show up for you. But it won’t be what I intended because you won’t do what I asked.”

Much like my choice to change how I relate to and with my nephew, He decided that He’d had enough. He decided that it wasn’t working. So, he came to earth as His son Jesus. He took on this flesh coat of sin. Sin, what He hates most, to provide His people with a better way to relate to them. And he chose to open His relationship up to people who were not among the original ones he chose. This is already super long. This part is New Testament. There are Scriptures all over the 27 books that speak to this. The same goes for the Old Testament’s 39 books.

The law of the Old Testament has been fulfilled by, not replaced with, the death of Jesus in the New Testament. Galatians 5:14. I got that one off top. Shout out to my new…I don’t even have a word for her. But she is AWESOME. You can find her blog here. She has me on a group zoom memorizing Scriptures.

She likes to say everything in the Old Testament is found in the New. I’ve seen it before we met. But, I’ve seen it so much more since we met. She has an awesome book coming. I’m not gonna remember to come back to this blog. But I KNOW I’m going to plug it. And when I do, don’t let the title fool you. It is so good. I’m buying a copy and reading it.

Okay. Dock the boat. This journey has been long. We are now under grace. We have the opportunity to grow, develop, make mistakes, be forgiven, and get it right. No more immediate judgment. No more one mistake and that’s it for us. The law still stands. We are still bound by the 10 Commandments but, in a more loving way.

However, I caution us. Grace is not in unlimited supply. We can’t just do whatever and expect another chance later. It doesn’t work like that. We never know when this life of ours will be over. While we have the chance we better make it count.

If the Anchor is calling you, beckoning you, the coast guard has come for you, a boat has been sent to you, DROP THE ANCHOR. Stop drifting. Stop causing damage.

While people drop anchor for extended periods of time, boats aren’t meant to stay at sea permanently. The anchor simply provides safety as the boat goes from one place to another. The little steering wheel takes the boat and anchor where it goes. I said it earlier, it’s the Word of God.

Sometimes we have pull Anchor and let His Word steer us to the dock. Solid ground. A set, specific destination. Where the boat is truly safe. The harbor. Let the people see the boat. Take time to care for the boat. Make sure the boat is in tip top condition to continue to go out and do what the boat should be doing.

Showing off how great the Anchor is. Cuz that’s why we were created. To bring glory to God. We use His word to steer our lives so that when we drop anchor or dock, people see just what the Anchor has done while we’ve been off in waters and storms.

I could stay here forever. But, I want people to ACTUALLY get to the end.

Go be great. Go show off the Anchor. Someone is counting on you.

Water Is Free

The nephew is appearing a lot right now because we are hanging tough this weekend.

I went to get us some cups of water. He was discussing the fact that it was free. I told him it was free when I ordered. He said something about not paying at the window. I said it was free again. I said it was free 99.

He seemed befuddled. Lissssssen. I was already thinking about the free water and life that we get from Christ. But then this joker said “how is water free? It has to cost something”.

I started to tell him, and maybe I did (I definitely will when I am done), it costs them something but cost us nothing. I lost it and started yelling. I had to pull over to write this.

That is the finished work of the cross. Right there. It cost Jesus something but costs us nothing. The cross. Walking with him is something else entirely. Salvation was free.

We have to join in the experience of the cross and die to our flesh. But, the salvation at the cross promised us rivers of living water that would flow after he ascended to heaven (chiii. Gas is high and my car is running. Just Google rivers of living water. It’s in one or multiple Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)).

Make it a great day!

Omg. I told him about this. And we still had to discuss it further. He said we should at least give them five pennies. I told him they don’t charge us anything.

Then, as I wrote the five pennies…five represents grace. What we received at Calvary.

There is nothing we can or give to pay to receive salvation. The gift of the cross. I am undone. I have, in his words, hollered like a maniac in this car.

How Do You Pray

My eight year old nephew is extremely smart. It’s like my sister had my child for me. He reminds me so much of me. We’re best friends. But I will still lay down that law.

This morning I asked him if he said his prayers. He said he forgot. I told him to say them. He recited the lil prayer he’s memorized.

Then he said a prayer for his mother. They have something going on great. It was a necessary and timely prayer I know nobody but God put him up to.

After he said that, I told him when he prays he needs to thank God. I also told him he needs to worship God when he prays-tell God who He is.

I exalt You. I magnify You. You are magnificent. You are holy. You get the point.

A little time went by. I told him that he also needs to sit and meditate and be quiet when he prays. He needs to give God time to talk to him.

I’m gonna take it a step further for us. The Bible does say knock and it will be open, seek and we will find, ask and it will be given. Matthew 7:7

But Jesus definitely said abide in me and my words abide in you. THEN you ask what you will. John 15:7

But, John takes it further in expounding upon it. He says if we ask according to His will. 1 John 5:14

Jesus said the first two parts. But he also said seek the kingdom of God FIRST and all these things shall be added. Matthew 6:33

If you have a relationship with someone you learn what they do and don’t like. You ask questions to get to know them. You’ll begin to pattern your behavior when around them to suit their desires. You begin to make decisions for them because you know what they will like. You may even start to like things they like because of your relationship.

That’s what Jesus and John are getting at. If you develop your relationship with Jesus, you will pattern your behavior after Him. You will begin to want for yourself what He wants for you. Because you’ve conversed with Him. You’ve spent time with Him. You’ve asked him questions.

Let’s make sure we are truly moving off of what Jesus has said. We can make decisions and then ask God (they are the same. As is the Holy Spirit. I’ll explain separately and come back and link it.) to bless what we decided. It doesn’t work like that. He is not a genie granting wishes. He is not Santa Claus.

If you’ve been praying and you’ve been frustrated because they haven’t been answered, check the way you’re praying. If you’re praying correctly and He hasn’t answered, there’s a reason. Wait on the lesson(s) He’s trying to teach you while you wait.

Go be great. Someone’s counting on it!

I Didn’t Ask For That

This is the third post about the wedding set up. Hahahaha. If we pay attention, we can get revelation from anything!!

While I was stringing flowers, I asked my nephew for my wallet. The needle was in it so I wouldn’t lose it.

I said please and thank you when I asked for it.

As he handed it to me, he said “you’re welcome” twice.

I replied with “I already said thank you”.

His response? “For this” as he handed me my keys.

I told him “I didn’t ask for that”.

“So you’re telling me I wasted my words?”

“Yes and your energy.”

I KNEW this next part was somewhere else (this was a draft first) when I wrote it in So Many Things (the other one is Multiple Paths, Same Result.). People provide help that isn’t asked for. That isn’t helpful. I’ve received it and been guilty of it.

People ask for what they need. If they don’t ask and then view it as a bother, we shouldn’t be offended. Easier said than done. I know. From experience. Like the lil nephew said though, read the room. It’s ok to let people be and mind our business.

Sometimes we give things to God that He didn’t ask for.

Cain and his sacrifice from the ground (somewhere near the beginning of Genesis. I’m being lazy. An internet search shall be your friend if you need proof with your eyes 😊❤.).

King Saul and his wanting to save animals to sacrifice instead of destroying everything like God told him to (somewhere in 1 or 2 Kings. Ditto previous comment.).

For them, it was a loss of place and position. Cain was banished because he killed his brother who offered a more excellent sacrifice. He was no longer allowed to be around his family.

Because King Saul took on duties that were not his, he lost the one duty that was-being king.

The Bible (somewhere in Romans-Jude.) says we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. My interpretation is, again, to mind our own business. Walk and talk with God. Abide in Him (Jesus said it in Matthew.). Relate to the High Priest who died so we can access God on a personal level (I used to know book, chapter, and verse. Try 1 or 2 Peter first. If not, it is elsewhere in Romans-Jude.).

We should see what He says to us individually, on a personal level. Then do that. And don’t go telling ppl what they should and shouldn’t do. Unless they ask or God specifically speaks to us with a word of prayer or prophecy. Again, GOD. Not us and our feelings or opinion.

And praying the will of God for them. Or that things work in ways that we know they want them to, in addition to, the will of God. Don’t pray our judgment or opinion for them. That’s an imposition of our will. And that isn’t right because God has a perfect will. But He also gives us free will and choice. Who are we to place our will, our desires, as more important than God doesn’t when we don’t seek His will? NOBODY.

That’s also a form of love. Allowing people to just be. Accepting how we find them. Allowing them to live life while we are there for them. I believe Paul (again somewhere after Romans before 1 Peter. But shoot. It could have been Peter.) told us to be all things to all people.

I mean this thang. We have to be careful about who we let pray for us and what we let them pray. I have told multiple people not to pray certain things for me. I don’t want what they want to pray for, I don’t want them specifically praying for me, and/or Ion know that that prayer is the will of God.

I believe John (in 1, 2 or 3, John) said try the spirit by the Spirit to see if it is of God. If you and God don’t get down like that, Ion want you opening me up to an attack from the enemy. Now, I’m having to fight something I was unaware of was even going down cuz you sent something up to Heaven I didn’t ask for.

Aight. I’m out. Go be great. Someone is counting on it!

Multiple Paths, Same Result

I am occasionally employed to assist a decorator. I’ve done all kinds of tasks.

I got a new task last night. I needed to clean wax and soot off of and inside the glass candle covers.

The boss told me they needed to be washed. To me, that meant soap and water. I tried but it didn’t seem to be working.

I called for advice and he told me to use hot water. The water wasn’t super hot so I added more.

It still seemed like there could be a better, more efficient way. I hit up Google. The method shown was to put a blow dryer on medium heat, melt the wax, wipe it, and then wipe again to remove the residue. I did it and it seemed to work.

At this point, though, I was tired. I had been up for fifteen hours that included packing a car, a four hour drive, unpacking car, unpacking a storage unit, repacking it, loading my car, rearranging another storage unit, unloading some stuff, loading more stuff, unpacking my car, going to church, then playing with this glass.

I’m an early riser and this wedding was early. I made an executive decision to go to bed and pray that I would have enough time to get them clean. .

I put the number of covers I needed in the sink. I added more water and soap and filled the sink as high as I could.

I woke up a little earlier than my alarm and got to work. I started out just using a wet paper towel. Maybe I just hoped it all soaked off and that was the end.

It wasn’t. While the wax seemed to come off easier, I still had to work at it.

I left the blow dryer alone. I had a long handled wooden spoon that I used the night before to get all the way inside.

I discovered that the best method to get some traction was using the spoon to loosen the wax and then wipe it away. I was still using a wet paper towel.

At some point, I discovered that the damp towel was working better. I eventually started using a dry paper towel.

While all of these methods seemed to work, each method didn’t work for me and my time constraints.

The Bible says we are many members with one body. 1 Corinthians 12:12. There are a lot of us but we are all part of the same thing as believers in Christ.

People have multiple children with pultiple personalities.

People have different ways of learning.

At the end of the day, all believers should be winning souls to Christ. People should be parenting their children. People should be learning.

But we don’t all do it the same way. We can’t all do it the same way. And that is clearly okay with God.

How do I know?

The Tower of Babel. Genesis 11:1-9. The people were speaking the same language and had one goal on one accord-to build a tower to heaven. God was like. Nah. What we not finna do is this. He gave them different languages and scattered them.

It is okay if people do things differently. It’s okay if it isn’t how you would do it. If they are doing what works for them, if it isn’t harming us, we should let them be. And maybe we should observe them to see if we can learn something.

Go be great. Someone’s counting on you.

Follow Instructions

One of the ppl I live with has been wanting bread pudding.

They used to be able to get it from a store near the house. It’s never there.

I went to another location. I decided I would make it if I couldn’t find it.

Found out it is no longer sold pre-made.

I found a recipe for it. My phone was dying so I looked at all the ingredients. I bought what wasn’t at the house and left.

I decided to watch a Facebook live about love. Shout out to my fellow blogger and her husband.

Honestly, I didn’t even read the recipe in full. Just the ingredients and like one instruction about the bread. And the recipe was behind a pay wall after so many observations.

I thought I could access it after registering. Nope. I had to subscribe. I discovered this after I had cut the bread poured the milk on it, and decided to see if I was following instructions.

Surprise surprise. I was NOT. I should have made a custard with the milk.

Let me pause and say I am not a baker. I make a few desserts that require minimal effort. Cooking though? Baaaaaybeeeee. Ima add a pic. I cooks.

Okay. Back on track. I proceeded to melt the butter and add the sugar and vanilla to it. I beat the eggs.

But, I had a realization. I know from watching cooking shows that ya girl is finna make caramel or something similar.

I tried to squeeze the milk out of the bread. Fail. I opened the refrigerator to see if there was milk. There usually isn’t. But heaven smiled on this mess. Right on the door was a baby container.

I didn’t even measure it. I just dumped it. It was cold so it cooled the butter and sugar. I realize that now. I did notice that the butter stopped melting.

But, there was already the appropriate amount of milk on the bread. I didn’t fully follow instructions for adding the stove mixture to the eggs.

They said it had to cool. But chiiiiii. I knew it wasn’t hot. So, I mixed it then poured it on the bread then put it in the oven.

Oh. I also added more bread. And now that I think about it, it wasn’t as sweet as it could have been because I didn’t add more sugar. Gah.

I just KNEW it was gonna be nasty. However, the two ppl who ate it liked it. One said I just needed to add the pre-made cinnamon sugar to it. I said it wasn’t sweet enough and reminded me of French toast. I def used brioche and, again, not enough sugar.

The ppl in the comments of the recipe also said it should soak in the mixture. I saw that before I baked it. But it was already a mess and getting late. Next time. I’m gonna try again. Lol.

That made me think of us and how we relate to God sometimes. When we don’t follow instructions or kinda follow them we end up with a mess. I could list more of my mistakes but, I’m gonna go to the Good Book.

Abraham was told he would have a baby with Sarah. She didn’t believe or was impatient. She sent her maid Hagar to have the baby, Ishmael. She treated Hagar harshly. She ended up with a baby, Isaac, and then sent Ishmael and Hagar away. As a result, Ishmael’s descendents are at odds with Isaac’s to this day. (Flit around Genesis. I’m usually good about citing. But I’m being lazy. Apologies.)

Moses was told to speak to the rock to get water. He hit it in frustration. As a result, God told him he would never see the Promised Land. After all that he had done. (Exodus my friend.)

Samson was told not to cut his hair or he’d lose his strength. He got involved with a woman who wasn’t an Israelite and spilled the secret. It resulted in him losing his hair, strength, eyes, and ultimately his life. (Judges will tell it all.)

The prophet Samuel gave King Saul instructions from God (Samuel trained as a priest but became a prophet. Priests performed the burnt sacrifices.) to destroy everyone and everything-including the animals. Saul saved the animals so that they could be offered as a sacrifice to God. Samuel was like bro, uh uh. You messed up and God is giving the kingdom to another. (1 or 2 Kings. One of em. You’re already on a device that will let you search or google.)

Saul’s successor David was a man of war after God’s heart. As a teen he killed five giants with five stones and a slingshot when nobody else could kill them.

Israel is at war later after David ascends the throne. Normally, kings were at war with the ppl while they fight. For some reason, David was at the palace on the roof. He saw a beautiful woman and decided he had to have her.

He sleeps with her, gets her pregnant, then realizes that she’s the wife of one of his best warriors. He calls the man home. He tries to get him to sleep with his wife. He refuses bc he is an honorable man and won’t be intimate while they are at war.

Since that didn’t work, David sends word and had the man assigned to a position that would surely get him killed. It did.

A new prophet, Nathan, goes to David and tells him he knows what he did and as a result the baby would die. David fasts and puts on sackcloth and ashes until he finds out the baby has died. Odd to others for sure.

Oh. David married the woman, Bathsheeba, after her husband, Uriah, died. They had another son Solomon.

At this point, the house of God is in tents, the tabernacle, and mobile. It had been since back in the day after Moses freed the people from Egypt when they wandered in the wilderness.

David decides and tells God that he wants to build a stationary house of worship, a temple. God is like cool, cool, cool. But um yeah. Not you buddy. You have too much blood on your hands. Solomon will though.

He lost a child and couldn’t build the temple. After ALL he had been through with God (there’s so much in Psalms and Kings. These particular instances described are in 1 or 2 Kings. Wherever you find Saul, just keep going. David comes after him.).

I’m certain there are more stories and ppl. I have surely gone over the customary length I imagine these to be in my head.

The point is simple and stated in the title: follow instructions. Cuz if we don’t, untold and unimaginable consequences will follow.

Go be great. Someone’s counting on it. 😊

Broken Stillness

I just wrote this next paragraph on Facebook:

“Honestly, I needed the stillness my broken car brought me.

These eleven days have been rough yet rich.

There is so much good that can happen when everything is seemingly all going wrong.

I’m certain my life won’t be the same.”

See Conclusion Of The Whole Matter for context.

God is infinite in His wisdom. One of my favorite Scriptures, tattooed on my arm, says “[f]or I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.

I have a whole lot I wanna do and need to do. And it is legit for God. Legit. Like I’m not that focused on or concerned about material things.

He showed it to me, had people tell me about it, and gave me a heart for it.

But, I had to be ready. I had to be prepared.

Things don’t grow without rain.

Sometimes you have to till, turn over, rough up, the soil.

Sometimes you have to pull, even dig up, weeds.

Sometimes you have to cut, to shorten or prune, so things grow right.

Sometimes you even have to burn things up.

But, here’s the thing. Another one of my tattoos is this: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” Isaiah 4:32 NIV.

I don’t get to control how, why, when, and where God prepares me. All I can control is surrendering and seeking His help to be postured correctly as He prepares me.

I truly don’t think I’ll have peace or joy if I’m not in His perfect will. Part of me doesn’t want to say yes. But I have to. My yes is too important to too many ppl.

He called me to it so He will grace me through it.

I completely forgot about something I was gonna write until I went to proofread.

Per biblestudy.org, the number 11 can symbolize disorder, chaos and judgment.

I can admit there was some disorder and chaos that needed judgment. Facts.

Because I was still and introspective, focused on what the situation was meant to teach me, I grew. I changed.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 KJV.

That. All of that. I underwent some surgery this week. And I’m better for it.

I am so proud of me and grateful to God that I matter to Him as much as I do. The grace. The mercy. The patience. The love. The intention. The care. The concern. The provision. The fact that He deems me worthy to be used by Him. The forgiveness. The long-suffering. Sheesh.

Aight. I could go on and on. But ima head out.

Go be great. Someone is counting on it.

What Did You Say

I’m pretty sure I’ve addressed this at some point. But, in the throes of writing the saga that can be found here, I got the idea for this.

I talked about patience and waiting. And a whole bunch of other things.

This song came to mind:
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting, on You Lord
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting, on You Lord

God breathed life into Adam in Genesis 2:7. He promised to fill us with His Spirit/send the Comforter in Matthew, Luke, and John (maybe Mark as well but I didn’t find it in the quick search I did 🤷🏾‍♀️. And there are several references in the books mentioned. Just search google. Lol.) People began receiving it in Acts 2.

In John 6:63, Jesus told them the words he spoke were Spirit and life.

James 3 is dedicated to admonishing us to watch our mouths and the words we say.

In Mark 11:23, Jesus told them to speak to the mountain and it would move if they believed.

The breath and Spirit of the same One that spoke and created all that is, dwells in us and is literal life to us. What we say has the power to manifest.

We sing songs because they sound good.

We say stuff because we can.

We don’t consider and keep at the top of our minds that we are writing checks every time we open our mouths.

We are making declarations.

Sometimes, I submit to you, when we face things, seemingly out of nowhere, it’s our words coming back to cash the checks we wrote.

I do mind waiting. I’m a human of flesh and blood. I have had and will likely always have, a patience problem. When I’m ready I’m ready. And if God or whoever is involved is not, that tends to irk me. But, I sang the song. A time or two. I read Scriptures about and asked for patience. So, whether I wanted it or not, I’m definitely going to get it.

And, even if I never asked for it, I asked for the will of God. And baaaaaaybeeeee. Those are some simple yet hard words. I said them. And deeeeeeeep down in my soul, where no flesh, thoughts, feelings, or self that is Karlissa exist, I truly meant that thing.

So, my flesh has got to die and come under subjection (1 Corinthians 15:31; 1 Corinthians 9:27). That’s what fasting and prayer are for (Jesus wasn’t specifically referring to this but did state the importance of it in Matthew 17:21 and did it himself in Matthew 4:1-11.)

Watch your mouth. Mind the words you say. They will come back. In ways you may never know or realize. After all, as the writer said, life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21)

Outchea On Faith

What a difference a day makes. Ha. It’s been a coupla few. I talked to two of the four from Honestly. Half ain’t bad. And I decided to reach out to some more of my ppl. We had an amazing conversation about life. Since they love Jesus just as much as me, it definitely went there.

I said some dope things that we are gonna put on t-shirts. I gotta figure out how to copyright them first. Go figure. A juris doctor who needs a copyright class. In my defense, I took one but it was the history and not the actual filing. I digress. Once I get it together, ima plug em all the time. Lol.

I was talking to my auntie big sis (again, Honestly) about some current happenings in my life. I started with I’m just outchea. Then I said I was out here on faith. And it reminded me of Peter (Mark 6:45-53; Matthew 14:22–34; John 6:15–21) who walked on water.

So many people chastise Peter for losing faith and sinking. But, I’ll never forget one sermon that was different. The minister mentioned the fact that everybody dogs Peter. Then, they flipped it and pointed out what nobody, to my recollection, had over the pulpit before. Peter was the only one to get out of the boat.

I’m in a different season than I’ve been in before. I see my growth. And I sense that I have to be super careful with my words and actions. In a way that I have never been before.

Like Peter, I have recognized Jesus in this situation. Like Peter, I am looking to Jesus and walking on the unfamiliar. It is strange territory. I am going to be careful to not let what surrounds me to cause me to lose focus. I’m trying to talk to him and seek him along the way. But. I know that if I fail to do that, like Peter, I can call out to Jesus and he’ll save me.

So. I’M OUTCHEA ON FAITH!!!!! 😊

Jeremiah 13-14 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Jeremiah 13

People Who Do Only What They Want to Do

1-2 God told me, “Go and buy yourself some linen shorts. Put them on and keep them on. Don’t even take them off to wash them.” So I bought the shorts as God directed and put them on.

3-5 Then God told me, “Take the shorts that you bought and go straight to Perath and hide them there in a crack in the rock.” So I did what God told me and hid them at Perath.

6-7 Next, after quite a long time, God told me, “Go back to Perath and get the linen shorts I told you to hide there.” So I went back to Perath and dug them out of the place where I had hidden them. The shorts by then had rotted and were worthless.

8-11 God explained, “This is the way I am going to ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem—a wicked bunch of people who won’t obey me, who do only what they want to do, who chase after all kinds of no-gods and worship them. They’re going to turn out as rotten as these old shorts. Just as shorts clothe and protect, so I kept the whole family of Israel under my care”—God’s Decree—“so that everyone could see they were my people, a people I could show off to the world and be proud of. But they refused to do a thing I said.

🤦🏾‍♀️

12 “And then tell them this, ‘God’s Message, personal from the God of Israel: Every wine jug should be full of wine.’

“And they’ll say, ‘Of course. We know that. Every wine jug should be full of wine!’

13-14 “Then you’ll say, ‘This is what God says: Watch closely. I’m going to fill every person who lives in this country—the kings who rule from David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, the citizens of Jerusalem—with wine that will make them drunk. And then I’ll smash them, smash the wine-filled jugs—old and young alike. Nothing will stop me. Not an ounce of pity or mercy or compassion will slow me down. Every last drunken jug of them will be smashed!’”

Whoa. My eyebrows can’t go any higher…

The Light You Always Took for Granted

15-17 Then I said, Listen. Listen carefully: Don’t stay stuck in your ways!
    It’s God’s Message we’re dealing with here.
Let your lives glow bright before God
    before he turns out the lights,
Before you trip and fall
    on the dark mountain paths.
The light you always took for granted will go out
    and the world will turn black.
If you people won’t listen,
    I’ll go off by myself and weep over you,
Weep because of your stubborn arrogance,
    bitter, bitter tears,
Rivers of tears from my eyes,
    because God’s sheep will end up in exile.

The man is tryin to help the ppl…

18-19 Tell the king and the queen-mother,
    “Come down off your high horses.
Your dazzling crowns
    will tumble off your heads.”
The villages in the Negev will be surrounded,
    everyone trapped,
And Judah dragged off to exile,
    the whole country dragged to oblivion.

20-22 Look, look, Jerusalem!
    Look at the enemies coming out of the north!
What will become of your flocks of people,
    the beautiful flocks in your care?
How are you going to feel when the people
    you’ve played up to, looked up to all these years
Now look down on you? You didn’t expect this?
    Surprise! The pain of a woman having a baby!
Do I hear you saying,
    “What’s going on here? Why me?”
The answer’s simple: You’re guilty,
    hugely guilty.
Your guilt has your life endangered,
    your guilt has you writhing in pain.

23 Can an African change skin?
    Can a leopard get rid of its spots?
So what are the odds on you doing good,
    you who are so long-practiced in evil?

24-27 “I’ll blow these people away—
    like wind-blown leaves.
You have it coming to you.
    I’ve measured it out precisely.”
        God’s Decree.
“It’s because you forgot me
    and embraced the Big Lie,
    that so-called god Baal.
I’m the one who will rip off your clothes,
    expose and shame you before the watching world.
Your obsessions with gods, gods, and more gods,
    your goddess affairs, your god-adulteries.
Gods on the hills, gods in the fields—
    every time I look you’re off with another god.
O Jerusalem, what a sordid life!
    Is there any hope for you!”

Smh. No words…….

Jeremiah 14

Time and Again We’ve Betrayed God

1-6 God’s Message that came to Jeremiah regarding the drought:

“Judah weeps,
    her cities mourn.
The people fall to the ground, moaning,
    while sounds of Jerusalem’s sobs rise up, up.
The rich people sent their servants for water.
    They went to the cisterns, but the cisterns were dry.
They came back with empty buckets,
    wringing their hands, shaking their heads.
All the farm work has stopped.
    Not a drop of rain has fallen.
The farmers don’t know what to do.
    They wring their hands, they shake their heads.
Even the doe abandons her fawn in the field
    because there is no grass—
Eyes glazed over, on her last legs,
    nothing but skin and bones.”

7-9 We know we’re guilty. We’ve lived bad lives—
    but do something, God. Do it for your sake!
Time and time again we’ve betrayed you.
    No doubt about it—we’ve sinned against you.
Hope of Israel! Our only hope!
    Israel’s last chance in this trouble!
Why are you acting like a tourist,
    taking in the sights, here today and gone tomorrow?
Why do you just stand there and stare,
    like someone who doesn’t know what to do in a crisis?
But God, you are, in fact, here, here with us!
    You know who we are—you named us!
    Don’t leave us without a leg to stand on.

If you know why keep doing what you shouldn’t?!

10 Then God said of these people:

“Since they loved to wander this way and that,
    never giving a thought to where they were going,
I will now have nothing more to do with them—
    except to note their guilt and punish their sins.”

Con. Se. Quen. Ces.

The Killing Fields

11-12 God said to me, “Don’t pray that everything will turn out all right for this people. When they skip their meals in order to pray, I won’t listen to a thing they say. When they redouble their prayers, bringing all kinds of offerings from their herds and crops, I’ll not accept them. I’m finishing them off with war and famine and disease.”

Again. Don’t pray for the ppl.

13 I said, “But Master, God! Their preachers have been telling them that everything is going to be all right—no war and no famine—that there’s nothing to worry about.”

14 Then God said, “These preachers are liars, and they use my name to cover their lies. I never sent them, I never commanded them, and I don’t talk with them. The sermons they’ve been handing out are sheer illusion, tissues of lies, whistlings in the dark.

👀👀👀

15-16 “So this is my verdict on them: All the preachers who preach using my name as their text, preachers I never sent in the first place, preachers who say, ‘War and famine will never come here’—these preachers will die in war and by starvation. And the people to whom they’ve been preaching will end up as corpses, victims of war and starvation, thrown out in the streets of Jerusalem unburied—no funerals for them or their wives or their children! I’ll make sure they get the full brunt of all their evil.

17-18 “And you, Jeremiah, will say this to them:

“‘My eyes pour out tears.
    Day and night, the tears never quit.
My dear, dear people are battered and bruised,
    hopelessly and cruelly wounded.
I walk out into the fields,
    shocked by the killing fields strewn with corpses.
I walk into the city,
    shocked by the sight of starving bodies.
And I watch the preachers and priests
    going about their business as if nothing’s happened!’”

19-22 God, have you said your final No to Judah?
    Can you simply not stand Zion any longer?
If not, why have you treated us like this,
    beaten us nearly to death?
We hoped for peace—
    nothing good came from it;
We looked for healing—
    and got kicked in the stomach.
We admit, O God, how badly we’ve lived,
    and our ancestors, how bad they were.
We’ve sinned, they’ve sinned,
    we’ve all sinned against you!
Your reputation is at stake! Don’t quit on us!
    Don’t walk out and abandon your glorious Temple!
Remember your covenant.
    Don’t break faith with us!
Can the no-gods of the godless nations cause rain?
    Can the sky water the earth by itself?
You’re the one, O God, who does this.
    So you’re the one for whom we wait.
You made it all,
    you do it all.

So they try to turn it on Him? His reputation is at stake?!

Jeremiah 11-12 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Jeremiah 11

The Terms of This Covenant

1 The Message that came to Jeremiah from God:

2-4 “Preach to the people of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem. Tell them this: ‘This is God’s Message, the Message of Israel’s God to you. Anyone who does not keep the terms of this covenant is cursed. The terms are clear. I made them plain to your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt, out of the iron furnace of suffering.

4-5 “‘Obey what I tell you. Do exactly what I command you. Your obedience will close the deal. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours. This will provide the conditions in which I will be able to do what I promised your ancestors: to give them a fertile and lush land. And, as you know, that’s what I did.’”

“Yes, God,” I replied. “That’s true.”

6-8 God continued: “Preach all this in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. Say, ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and carry them out! I warned your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt and I’ve kept up the warnings. I haven’t quit warning them for a moment. I warned them from morning to night: “Obey me or else!” But they didn’t obey. They paid no attention to me. They did whatever they wanted to do, whenever they wanted to do it, until finally I stepped in and ordered the punishments set out in the covenant, which, despite all my warnings, they had ignored.’”

9-10 Then God said, “There’s a conspiracy among the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. They’ve plotted to reenact the sins of their ancestors—the ones who disobeyed me and decided to go after other gods and worship them. Israel and Judah are in this together, mindlessly breaking the covenant I made with their ancestors.

11-13 “Well, your God has something to say about this: Watch out! I’m about to visit doom on you, and no one will get out of it. You’re going to cry for help but I won’t listen. Then all the people in Judah and Jerusalem will start praying to the gods you’ve been sacrificing to all these years, but it won’t do a bit of good. You’ve got as many gods as you have villages, Judah! And you’ve got enough altars for sacrifices to that impotent sex god Baal to put one on every street corner in Jerusalem!

He CANNOT STAND baal.

14 “And as for you, Jeremiah, I don’t want you praying for this people. Nothing! Not a word of petition. Indeed, I’m not going to listen to a single syllable of their crisis-prayers.”

Again. He tells J not to pray for the ppl…

Promises and Pious Programs

15-16 “What business do the ones I love have figuring out
    how to get off the hook? And right in the house of worship!
Do you think making promises and devising pious programs
    will save you from doom?
Do you think you can get out of this
    by becoming more religious?
A mighty oak tree, majestic and glorious—
    that’s how I once described you.
But it will only take a clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning
    to leave you a shattered wreck.

👀

17 “I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who planted you—yes, I have pronounced doom on you. Why? Because of the disastrous life you’ve lived, Israel and Judah alike, goading me to anger with your continuous worship and offerings to that sorry god Baal.”

18-19 God told me what was going on. That’s how I knew.
    You, God, opened my eyes to their evil scheming.
I had no idea what was going on—naive as a lamb
    being led to slaughter!
I didn’t know they had it in for me,
    didn’t know of their behind-the-scenes plots:
“Let’s get rid of the preacher.
    That will stop the sermons!
Let’s get rid of him for good.
    He won’t be remembered for long.”

20 Then I said, “God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    you’re a fair judge.
You examine and cross-examine
    human actions and motives.
I want to see these people shown up and put down!
    I’m an open book before you. Clear my name.”

21-23 That sent a signal to God, who spoke up: “Here’s what I’ll do to the men of Anathoth who are trying to murder you, the men who say, ‘Don’t preach to us in God’s name or we’ll kill you.’ Yes, it’s God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaking. Indeed! I’ll call them to account: Their young people will die in battle, their children will die of starvation, and there will be no one left at all, none. I’m visiting the men of Anathoth with doom. Doomsday!”

Vengeance is His (Deuteronomy 32:35). Like some say. God can get then better than I can.

Jeremiah 12

What Makes You Think You Can Race Against Horses?

1-4 You are right, O God, and you set things right.
    I can’t argue with that. But I do have some questions:
Why do bad people have it so good?
    Why do con artists make it big?
You planted them and they put down roots.
    They flourished and produced fruit.
They talk as if they’re old friends with you,
    but they couldn’t care less about you.
Meanwhile, you know me inside and out.
    You don’t let me get by with a thing!
Make them pay for the way they live,
    pay with their lives, like sheep marked for slaughter.
How long do we have to put up with this—
    the country depressed, the farms in ruin—
And all because of wickedness, these wicked lives?
    Even animals and birds are dying off
Because they’ll have nothing to do with God
    and think God has nothing to do with them.

🤷🏾‍♀️

5-6 “So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men,
    what makes you think you can race against horses?
And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm,
    what’s going to happen when troubles break loose
        like the Jordan in flood?
Those closest to you, your own brothers and cousins,
    are working against you.
They’re out to get you. They’ll stop at nothing.
    Don’t trust them, especially when they’re smiling.

🤔

7-11 “I will abandon the House of Israel,
    walk away from my beloved people.
I will turn over those I most love
    to those who are her enemies.
She’s been, this one I held dear,
    like a snarling lion in the jungle,
Growling and baring her teeth at me—
    and I can’t take it anymore.
Has this one I hold dear become a preening peacock?
    But isn’t she under attack by vultures?
Then invite all the hungry animals at large,
    invite them in for a free meal!
Foreign, scavenging shepherds
    will loot and trample my fields,
Turn my beautiful, well-cared-for fields
    into vacant lots of tin cans and thistles.
They leave them littered with junk—
    a ruined land, a land in lament.
The whole countryside is a wasteland,
    and no one will really care.

Preening peacock. I can’t. 🤣😂 Whoaaaaaa…

12-13 “The barbarians will invade,
    swarm over hills and plains.
The judgment sword of God will take its toll
    from one end of the land to the other.
    Nothing living will be safe.
They will plant wheat and reap weeds.
    Nothing they do will work out.
They will look at their meager crops and wring their hands.
    All this the result of God’s fierce anger!”

14-17 God’s Message: “Regarding all the bad neighbors who abused the land I gave to Israel as their inheritance: I’m going to pluck them out of their lands, and then pluck Judah out from among them. Once I’ve pulled the bad neighbors out, I will relent and take them tenderly to my heart and put them back where they belong, put each of them back in their home country, on their family farms. Then if they will get serious about living my way and pray to me as well as they taught my people to pray to that god Baal, everything will go well for them. But if they won’t listen, then I’ll pull them out of their land by the roots and cart them off to the dump. Total destruction!” God’s Decree.

Weeeellllll

Jeremiah 9-10

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Jeremiah 9

1-2 I wish my head were a well of water
    and my eyes fountains of tears
So I could weep day and night
    for casualties among my dear, dear people.
At times I wish I had a wilderness hut,
    a backwoods cabin,
Where I could get away from my people
    and never see them again.
They’re a faithless, feckless bunch,
    a congregation of degenerates.

Buddy was sad and ashamed.

3-6 “Their tongues shoot out lies
    like a bow shoots arrows—
A mighty army of liars,
    the sworn enemies of truth.
They advance from one evil to the next,
    ignorant of me.”
        God’s Decree.
“Be wary of even longtime neighbors.
    Don’t even trust your grandmother!
Brother schemes against brother,
    like old cheating Jacob.
Friend against friend
    spreads malicious gossip.
Neighbors gyp neighbors,
    never telling the truth.
They’ve trained their tongues to tell lies,
    and now they can’t tell the truth.
They pile wrong upon wrong, stack lie upon lie,
    and refuse to know me.”
        God’s Decree.

He spent some time with God and was honest bout his ppl. And. Man. The warning...

7-9 Therefore, God-of-the-Angel-Armies says:

“Watch this! I’ll melt them down
    and see what they’re made of.
What else can I do
    with a people this wicked?
Their tongues are poison arrows!
    Deadly lies stream from their mouths.
Neighbor greets neighbor with a smile,
    ‘Good morning! How’re things?’
    while scheming to do away with him.
Do you think I’m going to stand around and do nothing?”
    God’s Decree.
“Don’t you think I’ll take serious measures
    against a people like this?

👀

10-11 “I’m lamenting the loss of the mountain pastures.
    I’m chanting dirges for the old grazing grounds.
They’ve become deserted wastelands too dangerous for travelers.
    No sounds of sheep bleating or cattle mooing.
Birds and wild animals, all gone.
    Nothing stirring, no sounds of life.
I’m going to make Jerusalem a pile of rubble,
    fit for nothing but stray cats and dogs.
I’m going to reduce Judah’s towns to piles of ruins
    where no one lives!”

No sounds. Fit for nothing. Piles of ruins.

12 I asked, “Is there anyone around bright enough to tell us what’s going on here? Anyone who has the inside story from God and can let us in on it?

“Why is the country wasted?

“Why no travelers in this desert?”

13-15 God’s answer: “Because they abandoned my plain teaching. They wouldn’t listen to anything I said, refused to live the way I told them to. Instead they lived any way they wanted and took up with the Baal gods, who they thought would give them what they wanted—following the example of their parents.” And this is the consequence. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so:

“I’ll feed them with pig slop.

Yo. And this reminds me of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).

“I’ll give them poison to drink.

Okay Romeo and Juliet 🤣😂

16 “Then I’ll scatter them far and wide among godless peoples that neither they nor their parents have ever heard of, and I’ll send Death in pursuit until there’s nothing left of them.”

This vengeance. Well deserved. But still.

A Life That Is All Outside but No Inside

17-19 A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“Look over the trouble we’re in and call for help.
    Send for some singers who can help us mourn our loss.
Tell them to hurry—
    to help us express our loss and lament,
Help us get our tears flowing,
    make tearful music of our crying.
Listen to it!
    Listen to that torrent of tears out of Zion:
‘We’re a ruined people,
    we’re a shamed people!
We’ve been driven from our homes
    and must leave our land!’”

20-21 Mourning women! Oh, listen to God’s Message!
    Open your ears. Take in what he says.
Teach your daughters songs for the dead
    and your friends the songs of heartbreak.
Death has climbed in through the window,
    broken into our bedrooms.
Children on the playgrounds drop dead,
    and young men and women collapse at their games.

Yooooooo

22 Speak up! “God’s Message:

“‘Dead bodies everywhere, scattered at random
    like sheep and goat dung in the fields,
Like wheat cut down by reapers
    and left to rot where it falls.’”

🤦🏾‍♀️

23-24 God’s Message:

“Don’t let the wise brag of their wisdom.
    Don’t let heroes brag of their exploits.
Don’t let the rich brag of their riches.
    If you brag, brag of this and this only:
That you understand and know me.
    I’m God, and I act in loyal love.
I do what’s right and set things right and fair,
    and delight in those who do the same things.
These are my trademarks.”
    God’s Decree.

Yes!

25-26 “Stay alert! It won’t be long now”—God’s Decree!—“when I will personally deal with everyone whose life is all outside but no inside: Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab. All these nations are big on performance religion—including Israel, who is no better.”

Jeremiah 10

The Stick Gods

1-5 Listen to the Message that God is sending your way, House of Israel. Listen most carefully:

“Don’t take the godless nations as your models.
    Don’t be impressed by their glamour and glitz,
    no matter how much they’re impressed.
The religion of these peoples
    is nothing but smoke.
An idol is nothing but a tree chopped down,
    then shaped by a woodsman’s ax.
They trim it with tinsel and balls,
    use hammer and nails to keep it upright.
It’s like a scarecrow in a cabbage patch—can’t talk!
    Deadwood that has to be carried—can’t walk!
Don’t be impressed by such stuff.
    It’s useless for either good or evil.”

Mmmmhmmmm

6-9 All this is nothing compared to you, O God.
    You’re wondrously great, famously great.
Who can fail to be impressed by you, King of the nations?
    It’s your very nature to be worshiped!
Look far and wide among the elite of the nations.
    The best they can come up with is nothing compared to you.
Stupidly, they line them up—a lineup of sticks,
    good for nothing but making smoke.
Gilded with silver foil from Tarshish,
    covered with gold from Uphaz,
Hung with violet and purple fabrics—
    no matter how fancy the sticks, they’re still sticks.

10 But God is the real thing—
    the living God, the eternal King.
When he’s angry, Earth shakes.
    Yes, and the godless nations quake.

🙌🏾

11-15 “Tell them this, ‘The stick gods
    who made nothing, neither sky nor earth,
Will come to nothing
    on the earth and under the sky.’”
But it is God whose power made the earth,
    whose wisdom gave shape to the world,
    who crafted the cosmos.
He thunders, and rain pours down.
    He sends the clouds soaring.
He embellishes the storm with lightnings,
    launches wind from his warehouse.
Stick-god worshipers looking mighty foolish,
    god-makers embarrassed by their handmade gods!
Their gods are frauds—dead sticks,
    deadwood gods, tasteless jokes.
    When the fires of judgment come, they’ll be ashes.

Well. Stick gods.

16 But the Portion-of-Jacob is the real thing.
    He put the whole universe together
And pays special attention to Israel.
    His name? God-of-the-Angel-Armies!

Portion of Jacob. Put the whole universe together.

17-18 Grab your bags,
    all you who are under attack.
God has given notice:
    “Attention! I’m evicting
Everyone who lives here,
    And right now—yes, right now!
I’m going to press them to the limit,
    squeeze the life right out of them.”

19-20 But it’s a black day for me!
    Hopelessly wounded,
I said, “Why, oh why
    did I think I could bear it?”
My house is ruined—
    the roof caved in.
Our children are gone—
    we’ll never see them again.
No one left to help in rebuilding,
    no one to make a new start!

21 It’s because our leaders are stupid.
    They never asked God for counsel,
And so nothing worked right.
    The people are scattered all over.

Sheesh

22 But listen! Something’s coming!
    A big commotion from the northern borders!
Judah’s towns about to be smashed,
    left to all the stray dogs and cats!

23-25 I know, God, that mere mortals
    can’t run their own lives,
That men and women
    don’t have what it takes to take charge of life.
So correct us, God, as you see best.
    Don’t lose your temper. That would be the end of us.
Vent your anger on the godless nations,
    who refuse to acknowledge you,
And on the people
    who won’t pray to you—
The very ones who’ve made a meal out of Jacob,
    yes, made a meal
And devoured him whole,
    people and pastures alike.

A prayer for mercy. But didn’t God just say don’t? I 🤔

Jeremiah 7-8 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Jeremiah 7

The Nation That Wouldn’t Obey God

1-2 The Message from God to Jeremiah: “Stand in the gate of God’s Temple and preach this Message.

2-3 “Say, ‘Listen, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship God. God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, has this to say to you:

3-7 “‘Clean up your act—the way you live, the things you do—so I can make my home with you in this place. Don’t for a minute believe the lies being spoken here—“This is God’s Temple, God’s Temple, God’s Temple!” Total nonsense! Only if you clean up your act (the way you live, the things you do), only if you do a total spring cleaning on the way you live and treat your neighbors, only if you quit exploiting the street people and orphans and widows, no longer taking advantage of innocent people on this very site and no longer destroying your souls by using this Temple as a front for other gods—only then will I move into your neighborhood. Only then will this country I gave your ancestors be my permanent home, my Temple.

Um….

8-11 “‘Get smart! Your leaders are handing you a pack of lies, and you’re swallowing them! Use your heads! Do you think you can rob and murder, have sex with the neighborhood wives, tell lies nonstop, worship the local gods, and buy every novel religious commodity on the market—and then march into this Temple, set apart for my worship, and say, “We’re safe!” thinking that the place itself gives you a license to go on with all this outrageous sacrilege? A cave full of criminals! Do you think you can turn this Temple, set apart for my worship, into something like that? Well, think again. I’ve got eyes in my head. I can see what’s going on.’” God’s Decree!

Um……….

12 “‘Take a trip down to the place that was once in Shiloh, where I met my people in the early days. Take a look at those ruins, what I did to it because of the evil ways of my people Israel.

Not the place of peace?!

13-15 “‘So now, because of the way you have lived and failed to listen, even though time and again I took you aside and talked seriously with you, and because you refused to change when I called you to repent, I’m going to do to this Temple, set aside for my worship, this place you think is going to keep you safe no matter what, this place I gave as a gift to your ancestors and you, the same as I did to Shiloh. And as for you, I’m going to get rid of you, the same as I got rid of those old relatives of yours around Shiloh, your fellow Israelites in that former kingdom to the north.’

🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️

16-18 “And you, Jeremiah, don’t waste your time praying for this people. Don’t offer to make petitions or intercessions. Don’t bother me with them. I’m not listening. Can’t you see what they’re doing in all the villages of Judah and in the Jerusalem streets? Why, they’ve got the children gathering wood while the fathers build fires and the mothers make bread to be offered to ‘the Queen of Heaven’! And as if that weren’t bad enough, they go around pouring out libations to any other gods they come across, just to hurt me.

Whoa. Don’t waste your time praying…

19 “But is it me they’re hurting?” God’s Decree! “Aren’t they just hurting themselves? Exposing themselves shamefully? Making themselves ridiculous?

20 “Here’s what the Master God has to say: ‘My white-hot anger is about to descend on this country and everything in it—people and animals, trees in the field and vegetables in the garden—a raging wildfire that no one can put out.’

21-23 “The Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God: ‘Go ahead! Put your burnt offerings with all your other sacrificial offerings and make a good meal for yourselves. I sure don’t want them! When I delivered your ancestors out of Egypt, I never said anything to them about wanting burnt offerings and sacrifices as such. But I did say this, commanded this: “Obey me. Do what I say and I will be your God and you will be my people. Live the way I tell you. Do what I command so that your lives will go well.”

So much here…I never said anything about wanting burnt offerings…

24-26 “‘But do you think they listened? Not a word of it. They did just what they wanted to do, indulged any and every evil whim and got worse day by day. From the time your ancestors left the land of Egypt until now, I’ve supplied a steady stream of my servants the prophets, but do you think the people listened? Not once. Stubborn as mules and worse than their ancestors!’

27-28 “Tell them all this, but don’t expect them to listen. Call out to them, but don’t expect an answer. Tell them, ‘You are the nation that wouldn’t obey God, that refused all discipline. Truth has disappeared. There’s not a trace of it left in your mouths.

29 “‘So shave your heads.
    Go bald to the hills and lament,
For God has rejected and left
    this generation that has made him so angry.’

30-31 “The people of Judah have lived evil lives while I’ve stood by and watched.” God’s Decree. “In deliberate insult to me, they’ve set up their obscene god-images in the very Temple that was built to honor me. They’ve constructed Topheth altars for burning babies in prominent places all through the valley of Ben-hinnom, altars for burning their sons and daughters alive in the fire—a shocking perversion of all that I am and all I command.

Huh. Years later Jesus went off on the ppl in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13). I wonder how he would feel about some of our churches.

32-34 “But soon, very soon”—God’s Decree!—“the names Topheth and Ben-hinnom will no longer be used. They’ll call the place what it is: Murder Meadow. Corpses will be stacked up in Topheth because there’s no room left to bury them! Corpses abandoned in the open air, fed on by crows and coyotes, who have the run of the place. And I’ll empty both smiles and laughter from the villages of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. No wedding songs, no holiday sounds. Dead silence.”

The size of my eyes at murder meadow. And whoa to the rest. He is BIG mad. But can you blame Him?

Jeremiah 8

1-2 “And when the time comes”—God’s Decree!—“I’ll see to it that they dig up the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of the princes and priests and prophets, and yes, even the bones of the common people. They’ll dig them up and spread them out like a congregation at worship before sun, moon, and stars, all those sky gods they’ve been so infatuated with all these years, following their ‘lucky stars’ in doglike devotion. The bones will be left scattered and exposed, to reenter the soil as fertilizer, like manure.

Yo.

“Everyone left—all from this evil generation unlucky enough to still be alive in whatever godforsaken place I will have driven them to—will wish they were dead.” Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

To Know Everything but God’s Word

4-7 “Tell them this, God’s Message:

“‘Do people fall down and not get up?
    Or take the wrong road and then just keep going?
So why does this people go backward,
    and just keep on going—backward!
They stubbornly hold on to their illusions,
    refuse to change direction.
I listened carefully
    but heard not so much as a whisper.
No one expressed one word of regret.
    Not a single “I’m sorry” did I hear.
They just kept at it, blindly and stupidly
    banging their heads against a brick wall.
Cranes know when it’s time
    to move south for winter.
And robins, warblers, and bluebirds
    know when it’s time to come back again.
But my people? My people know nothing,
    not the first thing of God and his rule.

👀👀👀👀

8-9 “‘How can you say, “We know the score.
    We’re the proud owners of God’s revelation”?
Look where it’s gotten you—stuck in illusion.
    Your religion experts have taken you for a ride!
Your know-it-alls will be unmasked,
    caught and shown up for what they are.
Look at them! They know everything but God’s Word.
    Do you call that “knowing”?

Uh. It. Yeah. Relevant…

10-12 “‘So here’s what will happen to the know-it-alls:
    I’ll make them wifeless and homeless.
Everyone’s after the dishonest dollar,
    little people and big people alike.
Prophets and priests and everyone in between
    twist words and doctor truth.
My dear Daughter—my people—broken, shattered,
    and yet they put on Band-Aids,
Saying, “It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.”
    But things are not “just fine”!
Do you suppose they are embarrassed
    over this outrage?
Not really. They have no shame.
    They don’t even know how to blush.
There’s no hope for them. They’ve hit bottom
    and there’s no getting up.
As far as I’m concerned,
    they’re finished.’” God has spoken.

I mean…

13 “‘I went out to see if I could salvage anything’”
    —God’s Decree—
    “‘but found nothing:
Not a grape, not a fig,
    just a few withered leaves.
I’m taking back
    everything I gave them.’”

14-16 So why are we sitting here, doing nothing?
    Let’s get organized.
Let’s go to the big city
    and at least die fighting.
We’ve gotten God’s ultimatum:
    We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t—
    damned because of our sin against him.
We hoped things would turn out for the best,
    but it didn’t happen that way.
We were waiting around for healing—
    and terror showed up!
From Dan at the northern borders
    we hear the hooves of horses,
Horses galloping, horses neighing.
    The ground shudders and quakes.
They’re going to swallow up the whole country.
    Towns and people alike—fodder for war.

17 “‘What’s more, I’m dispatching
    poisonous snakes among you,
Snakes that can’t be charmed,
    snakes that will bite you and kill you.’”
        God’s Decree!

Advancing from One Evil to the Next

18-22 I drown in grief.
    I’m heartsick.
Oh, listen! Please listen! It’s the cry of my dear people
    reverberating through the country.
Is God no longer in Zion?
    Has the King gone away?
Can you tell me why they flaunt their plaything-gods,
    their silly, imported no-gods before me?
The crops are in, the summer is over,
    but for us nothing’s changed.
    We’re still waiting to be rescued.
For my dear broken people, I’m heartbroken.
    I weep, seized by grief.
Are there no healing ointments in Gilead?
    Isn’t there a doctor in the house?
So why can’t something be done
    to heal and save my dear, dear people?

I cannot imagine or fathom being Jeremiah and having to hear this, first of all, and then having to repeat it!

Jeremiah 5-6 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Jeremiah 5

Sins Are Piled Sky-High

1-2 “Patrol Jerusalem’s streets.
    Look around. Take note.
Search the market squares.
    See if you can find one man, one woman,
A single soul who does what is right
    and tries to live a true life.
    I want to forgive that person.”
        God’s Decree.
“But if all they do is say, ‘As sure as God lives . . . ’
    they’re nothing but a bunch of liars.”

And that’s why Jesus came…

3-6 But you, God,
    you have an eye for truth, don’t you?
You hit them hard, but it didn’t faze them.
    You disciplined them, but they refused correction.
Hardheaded, harder than rock,
    they wouldn’t change.
Then I said to myself, “Well, these are just poor people.
    They don’t know any better.
They were never taught anything about God.
    They never went to prayer meetings.
I’ll find some people from the best families.
    I’ll talk to them.
They’ll know what’s going on, the way God works.
    They’ll know the score.”
But they were no better! Rebels all!
    Off doing their own thing.
The invaders are ready to pounce and kill,
    like a mountain lion, a wilderness wolf,
Panthers on the prowl.
    The streets aren’t safe anymore.
And why? Because the people’s sins are piled sky-high;
    their betrayals are past counting.

Success or goodness or religion do not prevent ppl from disregarding God…

7-9 “Why should I even bother with you any longer?
    Your children wander off, leaving me,
Taking up with gods
    that aren’t even gods.
I satisfied their deepest needs, and then they went off with the ‘sacred’ whores,
    left me for orgies in sex shrines!
A bunch of well-groomed, lusty stallions,
    each one pawing and snorting for his neighbor’s wife.
Do you think I’m going to stand around and do nothing?”
    God’s Decree.
“Don’t you think I’ll take serious measures
    against a people like this?

I mean…

Eyes That Don’t Really Look, Ears That Don’t Really Listen

10-11 “Go down the rows of vineyards and rip out the vines,
    but not all of them. Leave a few.
Prune back those vines!
    That growth didn’t come from God!
They’ve betrayed me over and over again,
    Judah and Israel both.”
        God’s Decree.

I mentioned the vines in Isaiah. A symbol of life that shows up a lot. And the fruit of the vine was involved in the first miracle Jesus performed (John 2:1-11). Here this life was displeasing and not from God. Such a shame.

12-13 “They’ve spread lies about God.
    They’ve said, ‘There’s nothing to him.
Nothing bad will happen to us,
    neither famine nor war will come our way.
The prophets are all windbags.
    They speak nothing but nonsense.’”

Can you imagine? Being the God who made them, delivered them after they got themselves in trouble time and time again, performed miracles for them and their ancestors, and this is what they do?! No wonder there was silence for hundreds of years between the Old and New Testaments

14 Therefore, this is what God said to me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“Because they have talked this way,
    they are going to eat those words.
Watch now! I’m putting my words
    as fire in your mouth.
And the people are a pile of kindling
    ready to go up in flames.

Fire is a thing too. Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3:2). Shut up in Jeremiah’s bones (Jeremiah 20:9). The way the Holy Ghost sat on those in the upper room (Acts 2:3). And many other instances I can’t recall without a search…

15-17 “Attention! I’m bringing a far-off nation
    against you, O house of Israel.”
        God’s Decree.
“A solid nation,
    an ancient nation,
A nation that speaks another language.
    You won’t understand a word they say.
When they aim their arrows, you’re as good as dead.
    They’re a nation of real fighters!
They’ll clean you out of house and home,
    rob you of crops and children alike.
They’ll feast on your sheep and cattle,
    strip your vines and fig trees.
And the fortresses that made you feel so safe—
    leveled with a stroke of the sword!

18-19 “Even then, as bad as it will be”—God’s Decree!—“it will not be the end of the world for you. And when people ask, ‘Why did our God do all this to us?’ you must say to them, ‘This is back on you. Just as you left me and served foreign gods in your own country, so now you must serve foreigners in their own country.’

Well…

20-25 “Tell the house of Jacob this,
    put out this bulletin in Judah:
Listen to this,
    you scatterbrains, airheads,
With eyes that see but don’t really look,
    and ears that hear but don’t really listen.
Why don’t you honor me?
    Why aren’t you in awe before me?
Yes, me, who made the shorelines
    to contain the ocean waters.
I drew a line in the sand
    that cannot be crossed.
Waves roll in but cannot get through;
    breakers crash but that’s the end of them.
But this people—what a people!
    Uncontrollable, untamable runaways.
It never occurs to them to say,
    ‘How can we honor our God with our lives,
The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn
    and maintains the rhythm of the seasons,
Who sets aside time each year for harvest
    and keeps everything running smoothly for us?’
Of course you don’t! Your bad behavior blinds you to all this.
    Your sins keep my blessings at a distance.

I scoffed. Scatterbrains and airheads…🤦🏾‍♀️🤣😂 I feel Him. How?

To Stand for Nothing and Stand Up for No One

26-29 “My people are infiltrated by wicked men,
    unscrupulous men on the hunt.
They set traps for the unsuspecting.
    Their victims are innocent men and women.
Their houses are stuffed with ill-gotten gain,
    like a hunter’s bag full of birds.
Pretentious and powerful and rich,
    hugely obese, oily with rolls of fat.
Worse, they have no conscience.
    Right and wrong mean nothing to them.
They stand for nothing, stand up for no one,
    throw orphans to the wolves, exploit the poor.
Do you think I’ll stand by and do nothing about this?”
    God’s Decree.
“Don’t you think I’ll take serious measures
    against a people like this?

Lord help this not to be me. Grateful for grace n mercy. Sheesh.

30-31 “Unspeakable! Sickening!
    What’s happened in this country?
Prophets preach lies
    and priests hire on as their assistants.
And my people love it. They eat it up!
    But what will you do when it’s time to pick up the pieces?”

Uh is this BC or 2021 👀👀👀

Jeremiah 6

A City Full of Lies

1-5 “Run for your lives, children of Benjamin!
    Get out of Jerusalem, and now!
Give a blast on the ram’s horn in Blastville.
    Send up smoke signals from Smoketown.
Doom pours out of the north—
    massive terror!
I have likened my dear daughter Zion
    to a lovely meadow.
Well, now ‘shepherds’ from the north have discovered her
    and brought in their flocks of soldiers.
They’ve pitched camp all around her,
    and plan where they’ll ‘graze.’
And then, ‘Prepare to attack! The fight is on!
    To arms! We’ll strike at noon!
Oh, it’s too late? Day is dying?
    Evening shadows are upon us?
Well, up anyway! We’ll attack by night
    and tear apart her defenses stone by stone.’”

They were coming no matter what!

6-8 God-of-the-Angel-Armies gave the orders:

“Chop down her trees.
    Build a siege ramp against Jerusalem,
A city full of brutality,
    bursting with violence.
Just as a well holds a good supply of water,
    she supplies wickedness nonstop.
The streets echo the cries: ‘Violence! Rape!’
    Victims, bleeding and moaning, lie all over the place.
You’re in deep trouble, Jerusalem.
    You’ve pushed me to the limit.
You’re on the brink of being wiped out,
    being turned into a ghost town.”

If you could see my face.

More orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“Time’s up! Harvest the grapes for judgment.
    Salvage what’s left of Israel.
Go back over the vines.
    Pick them clean, every last grape.

Whoa.

Is Anybody Listening?

10-11 “I’ve got something to say. Is anybody listening?
    I’ve a warning to post. Will anyone notice?
It’s hopeless! Their ears are stuffed with wax—
    deaf as a post, blind as a bat.
It’s hopeless! They’ve tuned out God.
    They don’t want to hear from me.
But I’m bursting with the wrath of God.
    I can’t hold it in much longer.

Deaf as a post blind as a bat. But how many thought they were hearing and seeing God? How many of us???….

11-12 “So dump it on the children in the streets.
    Let it loose on the gangs of youth.
For no one’s exempt: Husbands and wives will be taken,
    the old and those ready to die;
Their homes will be given away—
    all they own, even their loved ones—
When I give the signal
    against all who live in this country.”
        God’s Decree.

Judgment is coming for us too. It’s already arrived for some of us. We have not learned but we call ourselves Bible believing, Bible lead Christians…

13-15 “Everyone’s after the dishonest dollar,
    little people and big people alike.
Prophets and priests and everyone in between
    twist words and doctor truth.
My people are broken—shattered!—
    and they put on Band-Aids,
Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’
    But things are not ‘just fine’!
Do you suppose they are embarrassed
    over this outrage?
No, they have no shame.
    They don’t even know how to blush.
There’s no hope for them. They’ve hit bottom
    and there’s no getting up.
As far as I’m concerned,
    they’re finished.”
        God has spoken.

I’ve been talking about greedy, capitalist America a lot lately. Huh. Not here of course. But still… The accuracy of today in this portion

Death Is on the Prowl

16-20 God’s Message yet again:

“Go stand at the crossroads and look around.
    Ask for directions to the old road,
The tried-and-true road. Then take it.
    Discover the right route for your souls.
But they said, ‘Nothing doing.
    We aren’t going that way.’
I even provided watchmen for them
    to warn them, to set off the alarm.
But the people said, ‘It’s a false alarm.
    It doesn’t concern us.’
And so I’m calling in the nations as witnesses:
    ‘Watch, witnesses, what happens to them!’
And, ‘Pay attention, Earth!
    Don’t miss these bulletins.’
I’m visiting catastrophe on this people, the end result
    of the games they’ve been playing with me.
They’ve ignored everything I’ve said,
    had nothing but contempt for my teaching.
What would I want with incense brought in from Sheba,
    rare spices from exotic places?
Your burnt sacrifices in worship give me no pleasure.
    Your religious rituals mean nothing to me.”

My goodness.

21 So listen to this. Here’s God’s verdict on your way of life:

“Watch out! I’m putting roadblocks and barriers
    on the road you’re taking.
They’ll send you sprawling,
    parents and children, neighbors and friends—
    and that will be the end of the lot of you.”

My eyes 👀.

22-23 And listen to this verdict from God:

“Look out! An invasion from the north,
    a mighty power on the move from a faraway place:
Armed to the teeth,
    vicious and pitiless,
Booming like sea storm and thunder—tramp, tramp, tramp—
    riding hard on war horses,
In battle formation
    against you, dear Daughter Zion!”

24-25 We’ve heard the news,
    and we’re as limp as wet dishrags.
We’re paralyzed with fear.
    Terror has a death grip on our throats.
Don’t dare go outdoors!
    Don’t leave the house!
Death is on the prowl.
    Danger everywhere!

26 “Dear Daughter Zion: Dress in black.
    Blacken your face with ashes.
Weep most bitterly,
    as for an only child.
The countdown has begun . . . 
    six, five, four, three . . . 
    The Terror is on us!”

Yoooo. He was playing no games. And He’s not gonna play any with us when we know better and profess Him without acing like we know Him.

27-30 God gave me this task:

“I have made you the examiner of my people,
    to examine and weigh their lives.
They’re a thickheaded, hard-nosed bunch,
    rotten to the core, the lot of them.
Refining fires are cranked up to white heat,
    but the ore stays a lump, unchanged.
It’s useless to keep trying any longer.
    Nothing can refine evil out of them.
Men will give up and call them ‘slag,’
    thrown on the slag heap by me, their God.”

Thickheaded, hard-nosed bunch, rotten to the core. His way with words… What a way to end the chapter.

Jeremiah 3-4 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Jeremiah 3

Your Sex-and-Religion Obsessions

God’s Message came to me as follows:

“If a man’s wife
    walks out on him
And marries another man,
    can he take her back as if nothing had happened?
Wouldn’t that raise a huge stink
    in the land?
And isn’t that what you’ve done—
    ‘whored’ your way with god after god?
And now you want to come back as if nothing had happened.”
    God’s Decree.

Wellst.

2-5 “Look around at the hills.
    Where have you not had sex?
You’ve camped out like hunters stalking deer.
    You’ve solicited many lover-gods,
Like a streetwalking whore
    chasing after other gods.
And so the rain has stopped.
    No more rain from the skies!
But it doesn’t even faze you. Brazen as whores,
    you carry on as if you’ve done nothing wrong.
Then you have the nerve to call out, ‘My father!
    You took care of me when I was a child. Why not now?
Are you going to keep up your anger nonstop?’
    That’s your line. Meanwhile you keep sinning nonstop.”

Eek.

Admit Your God-Defiance

6-10 God spoke to me during the reign of King Josiah: “You have noticed, haven’t you, how fickle Israel has visited every hill and grove of trees as a whore at large? I assumed that after she had gotten it out of her system, she’d come back, but she didn’t. Her flighty sister, Judah, saw what she did. She also saw that because of fickle Israel’s loose morals I threw her out, gave her her walking papers. But that didn’t faze flighty sister Judah. She went out, big as you please, and took up a whore’s life also. She took up cheap sex-and-religion as a sideline diversion, an indulgent recreation, and used anything and anyone, flouting sanity and sanctity alike, stinking up the country. And not once in all this did flighty sister Judah even give me a nod, although she made a show of it from time to time.” God’s Decree.

Man. As you can see I have few words. It speaks for itself.

11-12 Then God told me, “Fickle Israel was a good sight better than flighty Judah. Go and preach this message. Face north toward Israel and say:

12-15 “‘Turn back, fickle Israel.
    I’m not just hanging back to punish you.
I’m committed in love to you.
    My anger doesn’t seethe nonstop.
Just admit your guilt.
    Admit your God-defiance.
Admit to your promiscuous life with casual partners,
    pulling strangers into the sex-and-religion groves
While turning a deaf ear to me.’”
    God’s Decree.
“Come back, wandering children!”
    God’s Decree.
“I, yes I, am your true husband.
    I’ll pick you out one by one—
This one from the city, these two from the country—
    and bring you to Zion.
I’ll give you good shepherd-rulers who rule my way,
    who rule you with intelligence and wisdom.

But God is angry, judgmental, and unloving. 🙄 I think that’s just the people who wanna do what they wanna do….

16 “And this is what will happen: You will increase and prosper in the land. The time will come”—God’s Decree!—“when no one will say any longer, ‘Oh, for the good old days! Remember the Ark of the Covenant?’ It won’t even occur to anyone to say it—‘the good old days.’ The so-called good old days of the Ark are gone for good.

Hope.

17 “Jerusalem will be the new Ark—‘God’s Throne.’ All the godless nations, no longer stuck in the ruts of their evil ways, will gather there to honor God.

18 “At that time, the House of Judah will join up with the House of Israel. Holding hands, they’ll leave the north country and come to the land I willed to your ancestors.

19-20 “I planned what I’d say if you returned to me:
    ‘Good! I’ll bring you back into the family.
I’ll give you choice land,
    land that the godless nations would die for.’
And I imagined that you would say, ‘Dear father!’
    and would never again go off and leave me.
But no luck. Like a false-hearted woman walking out on her husband,
    you, the whole family of Israel, have proven false to me.”
        God’s Decree.

I’m almost, or maybe I am, sad for God. The grace and mercy and the throwing it in His face. I’m guilty of it too…

21-22 The sound of voices comes drifting out of the hills,
    the unhappy sound of Israel’s crying,
Israel lamenting the wasted years,
    never once giving her God a thought.
“Come back, wandering children!
    I can heal your wanderlust!”

22-25 “We’re here! We’ve come back to you.
    You’re our own true God!
All that popular religion was a cheap lie,
    duped crowds buying up the latest in gods.
We’re back! Back to our true God,
    the salvation of Israel.
The Fraud picked us clean, swindled us
    of what our ancestors bequeathed us,
Gypped us out of our inheritance—
    God-blessed flocks and God-given children.
We made our bed and now lie in it,
    all tangled up in the dirty sheets of dishonor.
All because we sinned against our God,
    we and our fathers and mothers.
From the time we took our first steps, said our first words,
    we’ve been rebels, disobeying the voice of our God.”

But they left again. And this is why ppl say Jesus was necessary. The law could do little on its own to keep the people in relationship with God. But the new covenant. New Testament. What came by way of, through, and after Jesus that exists today…whole nother ball of wax….

Jeremiah 4

1-2 “If you want to come back, O Israel,
    you must really come back to me.
You must get rid of your stinking sin paraphernalia
    and not wander away from me anymore.
Then you can say words like, ‘As God lives . . . ’
    and have them mean something true and just and right.
And the godless nations will get caught up in the blessing
    and find something in Israel to write home about.”

Tuh. Actions aligning with words…. Getting rid of everything that separates them from God.

3-4 Here’s another Message from God
    to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Plow your unplowed fields,
    but then don’t plant weeds in the soil!
Yes, circumcise your lives for God’s sake.
    Plow your unplowed hearts,
    all you people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Prevent fire—the fire of my anger—
    for once it starts it can’t be put out.
Your wicked ways
    are fuel for the fire.

Huh. Don’t plant weeds. Prepare it but don’t fill it with what kills the good that would grow. I’m not touching the rest. Ouch.

God’s Sledgehammer Anger

5-8 “Sound the alarm in Judah,
    broadcast the news in Jerusalem.
Say, ‘Blow the ram’s horn trumpet through the land!’
    Shout out—a bullhorn bellow!—
‘Close ranks!
    Run for your lives to the shelters!’
Send up a flare warning Zion:
    ‘Not a minute to lose! Don’t sit on your hands!’
Disaster’s descending from the north. I set it off!
    When it lands, it will shake the foundations.
Invaders have pounced like a lion from its cover,
    ready to rip nations to shreds,
Leaving your land in wrack and ruin,
    your cities in rubble, abandoned.
Dress in funereal black.
    Weep and wail,
For God’s sledgehammer anger
    has slammed into us head-on.

🤷🏾‍♀️

“When this happens”
    —God’s Decree—
“King and princes will lose heart;
    priests will be baffled and prophets stand dumbfounded.”

10 Then I said, “Alas, Master God!
    You’ve fed lies to this people, this Jerusalem.
You assured them, ‘All is well, don’t worry,’
    at the very moment when the sword was at their throats.”

Whoa. Talk about speaking to God honestly…

11-12 At that time, this people, yes, this very Jerusalem,
    will be told in plain words:
“The northern hordes are sweeping in
    from the desert steppes—
A wind that’s up to no good, a gale-force wind.
    I ordered this wind.
I’m pronouncing
    my hurricane judgment on my people.”

Your Evil Life Is Piercing Your Heart

13-14 Look at them! Like banks of storm clouds,
    racing, tumbling, their chariots a tornado,
Their horses faster than eagles!
    Woe to us! We’re done for!
Jerusalem! Scrub the evil from your lives
    so you’ll be fit for salvation.
How much longer will you harbor
    devious and malignant designs within you?

15-17 What’s this? A messenger from Dan?
    Bad news from Ephraim’s hills!
Make the report public.
    Broadcast the news to Jerusalem:
“Invaders from far off are
    raising war cries against Judah’s towns.
They’re all over her, like a dog on a bone.
    And why? Because she rebelled against me.”
        God’s Decree.

Sheesh. The last two parts in the quote.

18 “It’s the way you’ve lived
    that’s brought all this on you.
The bitter taste is from your evil life.
    That’s what’s piercing your heart.”

Consequences.

19-21 I’m doubled up with cramps in my belly—
    a poker burns in my gut.
My insides are tearing me up,
    never a moment’s peace.
The ram’s horn trumpet blast rings in my ears,
    the signal for all-out war.
Disaster hard on the heels of disaster,
    the whole country in ruins!
In one stroke my home is destroyed,
    the walls flattened in the blink of an eye.
How long do I have to look at the warning flares,
    listen to the siren of danger?

👀👀👀

Experts at Evil

22 “What fools my people are!
    They have no idea who I am.
A company of half-wits,
    dopes and donkeys all!
Experts at evil
    but klutzes at good.”

23-26 I looked at the earth—
    it was back to pre-Genesis chaos and emptiness.
I looked at the skies,
    and not a star to be seen.
I looked at the mountains—
    they were trembling like aspen leaves,
And all the hills
    rocking back and forth in the wind.
I looked—what’s this! Not a man or woman in sight,
    and not a bird to be seen in the skies.
I looked—this can’t be! Every garden and orchard shriveled up.
    All the towns were ghost towns.
And all this because of God,
    because of the blazing anger of God.

Wow.

27-28 Yes, this is God’s Word on the matter:

“The whole country will be laid waste—
    still it won’t be the end of the world.
The earth will mourn
    and the skies lament
Because I’ve given my word and won’t take it back.
    I’ve decided and won’t change my mind.”

You’re Not Going to Seduce Anyone

29 Someone shouts, “Horsemen and archers!”
    and everybody runs for cover.
They hide in ditches,
    they climb into caves.
The cities are emptied,
    not a person left anywhere.

30-31 And you, what do you think you’re up to?
    Dressing up in party clothes,
Decking yourselves out in jewelry,
    putting on lipstick and rouge and mascara!
Your primping goes for nothing.
    You’re not going to seduce anyone. They’re out to kill you!
And what’s that I hear? The cry of a woman in labor,
    the screams of a mother giving birth to her firstborn.
It’s the cry of Daughter Zion, gasping for breath,
    reaching out for help:
“Help, oh help me! I’m dying!
    The killers are on me!”

Yo. This last part…….