Tag Archives: Israel

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…….

NAME OF GOD: El Elohe Yisrael

Pastor Tony Evans created a list of all the names of God and their pronunciations that can be found here. He also included the scripture for each one. I am going to put every English translation from biblegateway.com. I don’t know what all of the abbreviations stand for. You can click the hyperlink abbreviation to be directed to biblegateway.com and discover which version is which if you are unsure. 😉 My thoughts are italicized.

MEANING: The mighty God of Israel

Verse: Genesis 33:20

KJ21 And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel [that is, God, the God of Israel].

ASV And he erected there an altar, and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

AMP There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

AMPC There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel [God, the God of Israel].

BRG And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel.

CSB And he set up an altar there and called it God, the God of Israel.CEB Then he set up an altar there and named it El Elohe Israel.

CJB There he put up an altar, which he called El-Elohei-Yisra’el [God, the God of Isra’el].

CEVthen he set up his tents and built an altar there to honor the God of Israel.

DARBY And there he set up an altar, and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

DRA And raising an altar there, he invoked upon it the most mighty God of Israel.

ERV He built an altar there to honor God. He named the place “El, the God of Israel.”

EHV He erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel.

ESV There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

ESVUK There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

EXB He ·built [erected] an altar there and named it ·after God, the God of Israel [L El-Elohe-Israel].

GNVAnd he set up there an altar, and called it, The mighty God of Israel.

Mighty God

GW He set up an altar there and named it God Is the God of Israel.

GNT He put up an altar there and named it for El, the God of Israel.

HCSB And he set up an altar there and called it “God, the God of Israel.”

ICB He built an altar there and named it after God, the God of Israel.

ISV set up an altar, and named it El-elohe-israel.

JUB And there he erected an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel (the Strong God of Israel).

Strong God

KJV And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael.

AKJV And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel.

LEB And there he erected an altar and called it “El Elohe Israel.”

TLB And there he erected an altar and called it “El-Elohe-Israel,” “The Altar to the God of Israel.”)

MSG And that’s how it happened that Jacob arrived all in one piece in Shechem in the land of Canaan—all the way from Paddan Aram. He camped near the city. He bought the land where he pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. He paid a hundred silver coins for it. Then he built an altar there and named it El-Elohe-Israel (Mighty Is the God of Israel). * * *

MEV He erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel

.NOG He set up an altar there and named it El Is the Elohim of Israel.

NABRE He set up an altar there and invoked “El, the God of Israel.”

NASBThen he erected there an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel

.NASB1995 Then he erected there an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

NCV He built an altar there and named it after God, the God of Israel.

NET There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.”

NIRV He also set up an altar there. He named it El Elohe Israel.

NIV There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.

NIVUK There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.

NKJV Then he erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel.

NLV He built an altar there, and gave it the name El-Elohe-Israel.

NLT And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel.

NRSV There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

NRSVA There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

NRSVACE There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

NRSVCE There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

OJB And he erected there a Mizbe’ach, and called it El Elohei Yisroel.

RSV There he erected an altar and called it El-El′ohe-Israel.

RSVCEThere he erected an altar and called it El-El′ohe-Israel.

TLV There he set up an altar, and he called it, El is Israel’s God.

VOICE And there also he built an altar he called El-Elohe-Israel, which means “God, the God of Israel.”

WEB He erected an altar there, and called it El Elohe Israel.

WYC And when he had raised an altar there, he inwardly called on it the full strong God of Israel. (And when he had raised up an altar there, he called it Elelohe-Israel.)

Full, strong God

YLT and he setteth up there an altar, and proclaimeth at it God — the God of Israel.

Isaiah 1-3 The Message MSG

So. I’m gonna read from Isaiah through Malachi, skipping Lamentations, from now through June 15 if nothing changes.

Putting the chapter in bold with my comments regular was an exercise in patience for the parts of proverbs I did it for. Three chapters of it will be team way to much.

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

Isaiah Chapter 1

Messages of Judgment

Quit Your Worship Charades

¹ The vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw regarding Judah and Jerusalem during the times of the kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.

2-4 Heaven and earth, you’re the jury.
    Listen to God’s case:
“I had children and raised them well,
    and they turned on me.
The ox knows who’s boss,
    the mule knows the hand that feeds him,
But not Israel.
    My people don’t know up from down.
Shame! Misguided God-dropouts,
    staggering under their guilt-baggage,
Villainous gang,
    band of vandals—
My people have walked out on me, their God,
    turned their backs on The Holy of Israel,
    walked off and never looked back.

5-9 “Why bother even trying to do anything with you
    when you just keep to your bullheaded ways?
You keep beating your heads against brick walls.
    Everything within you protests against you.
From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head,
    nothing’s working right.
Wounds and bruises and running sores—
    untended, unwashed, unbandaged.
Your country is laid waste,
    your cities burned down.
Your land is destroyed by outsiders while you watch,
    reduced to rubble by barbarians.
Daughter Zion is deserted—
    like a tumbledown shack on a dead-end street,
Like a tarpaper shanty on the wrong side of the tracks,
    like a sinking ship abandoned by the rats.
If God-of-the-Angel-Armies hadn’t left us a few survivors,
    we’d be as desolate as Sodom, doomed just like Gomorrah.

10 “Listen to my Message,
    you Sodom-schooled leaders.
Receive God’s revelation,
    you Gomorrah-schooled people.

11-12 “Why this frenzy of sacrifices?”
    God’s asking.
“Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of burnt sacrifices,
    rams and plump grain-fed calves?
Don’t you think I’ve had my fill
    of blood from bulls, lambs, and goats?
When you come before me,
    whoever gave you the idea of acting like this,
Running here and there, doing this and that—
    all this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?

Man. This reminds me of when Jesus went in the temple and turned over the tables (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18). This also makes me think of us today and how God must feel about us…

13-17 “Quit your worship charades.
    I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings—
    meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!
Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!
    You’ve worn me out!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion,
    while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance,
    I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,
    I’ll not be listening.
And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing
    people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.
Go home and wash up.
    Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings
    so I don’t have to look at them any longer.
Say no to wrong.
    Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
    Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
    Go to bat for the defenseless.

This reminds me of so many people and churches I know today. Also, the Sadducees and Pharisees of the New Testament. Crazy.

Let’s Argue This Out

18-20 “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
    This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
    they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
    they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
    you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
    you’ll die like dogs.”
That’s right. God says so.

Those Who Walk Out on God

21-23 Oh! Can you believe it? The chaste city
    has become a whore!
She was once all justice,
    everyone living as good neighbors,
And now they’re all
    at one another’s throats.
Your coins are all counterfeits.
    Your wine is watered down.
Your leaders are turncoats
    who keep company with crooks.
They sell themselves to the highest bidder
    and grab anything not nailed down.
They never stand up for the homeless,
    never stick up for the defenseless.

This is something that appears to be going on today. All this money in all these churches to build bigger buildings. But there is little to no outreach to help those in need, the mandate Jesus gave when describing who would be welcome in heaven in Matthew 25:31-40, the hands and feet of Jesus.

24-31 This Decree, therefore, of the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    the Strong One of Israel:
“This is it! I’ll get my oppressors off my back.
    I’ll get back at my enemies.
I’ll give you the back of my hand,
    purge the junk from your life, clean you up.
I’ll set honest judges and wise counselors among you
    just like it was back in the beginning.
Then you’ll be renamed
    City-That-Treats-People-Right, the True-Blue City.”
God’s right ways will put Zion right again.
    God’s right actions will restore her prodigals.
But it’s curtains for rebels and God-traitors,
    a dead end for those who walk out on God.
“Your dalliances in those oak grove shrines
    will leave you looking mighty foolish,
All that fooling around in god and goddess gardens
    that you thought was the latest thing.
You’ll end up like an oak tree
    with all its leaves falling off,
Like an unwatered garden,
    withered and brown.
‘The Strong Man’ will turn out to be dead bark and twigs,
    and his ‘work,’ the spark that starts the fire
That exposes man and work both
    as nothing but cinders and smoke

Isaiah Chapter 2

Climb God’s Mountain

 The Message Isaiah got regarding Judah and Jerusalem:

1-5There’s a day coming
    when the mountain of God’s House
Will be The Mountain—
    solid, towering over all mountains.
All nations will river toward it,
    people from all over set out for it.
They’ll say, “Come,
    let’s climb God’s Mountain,
    go to the House of the God of Jacob.
He’ll show us the way he works
    so we can live the way we’re made.”
Zion’s the source of the revelation.
    God’s Message comes from Jerusalem.
He’ll settle things fairly between nations.
    He’ll make things right between many peoples.
They’ll turn their swords into shovels,
    their spears into hoes.
No more will nation fight nation;
    they won’t play war anymore.
Come, family of Jacob,
    let’s live in the light of God.

6-9 God, you’ve walked out on your family Jacob
    because their world is full of hokey religion,
Philistine witchcraft, and pagan hocus-pocus,
    a world rolling in wealth,
Stuffed with things,
    no end to its machines and gadgets,
And gods—gods of all sorts and sizes.
    These people make their own gods and worship what they make.
A degenerate race, facedown in the gutter.
    Don’t bother with them! They’re not worth forgiving!

Bruuuuuuuuuuh. The more things change the more things stay the same…

Pretentious Egos Brought Down to Earth

10 Head for the hills,
    hide in the caves
From the terror of God,
    from his dazzling presence.

11-17 People with a big head are headed for a fall,
    pretentious egos brought down a peg.
It’s God alone at front-and-center
    on the Day we’re talking about,
The Day that God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    is matched against all big-talking rivals,
    against all swaggering big names;
Against all giant sequoias
    hugely towering,
    and against the expansive chestnut;
Against Kilimanjaro and Annapurna,
    against the ranges of Alps and Andes;
Against every soaring skyscraper,
    against all proud obelisks and statues;
Against ocean-going luxury liners,
    against elegant three-masted schooners.
The swelled big heads will be punctured bladders,
    the pretentious egos brought down to earth,
Leaving God alone at front-and-center
    on the Day we’re talking about.

The first part reminds me of what I just read last month. Pride before destruction, haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18 King James Version KJV). The last part…what I’m going to get to eventually: Isaiah 42:8 KJV (…my glory I will not give to another…) and Philippians 2:10-11 KJV (That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father).

18 And all those sticks and stones
    dressed up to look like gods
    will be gone for good.

19 Clamber into caves in the cliffs,
    duck into any hole you can find.
Hide from the terror of God,
    from his dazzling presence,
When he assumes his full stature on earth,
    towering and terrifying.

It is interesting that the instruction is hide when Adam and Eve’s hiding was pointless in Genesis 3:8 because God already knew, even though He asked Adam where he was in verse 9. I heard a preacher once say that God doesn’t ask questions that He doesn’t already know the answer to. I would give them credit. But I’m not 100% I have the right one.

20-21 On that Day men and women will take
    the sticks and stones
They’ve decked out in gold and silver
    to look like gods and then worshiped,
And they will dump them
    in any ditch or gully,
Then run for rock caves
    and cliff hideouts
To hide from the terror of God,
    from his dazzling presence,
When he assumes his full stature on earth,
    towering and terrifying.

22 Quit scraping and fawning over mere humans,
    so full of themselves, so full of hot air!
    Can’t you see there’s nothing to them?

Makes me think of how much people want to be like others but don’t know how fake and cultivated the presentations are.

Isaiah Chapter 3

Jerusalem on Its Last Legs

1-7 The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    is emptying Jerusalem and Judah
Of all the basic necessities,
    plain bread and water to begin with.
He’s withdrawing police and protection,
    judges and courts,
    pastors and teachers,
    captains and generals,
    doctors and nurses,
    and, yes, even the repairmen and jacks-of-all-trades.
He says, “I’ll put little kids in charge of the city.
    Schoolboys and schoolgirls will order everyone around.
People will be at each other’s throats,
    stabbing one another in the back:
Neighbor against neighbor, young against old,
    the no-account against the well-respected.
One brother will grab another and say,
    ‘You look like you’ve got a head on your shoulders.
Do something!
    Get us out of this mess.’
And he’ll say, ‘Me? Not me! I don’t have a clue.
    Don’t put me in charge of anything.’

8-9 “Jerusalem’s on its last legs.
    Judah is soon down for the count.
Everything people say and do
    is at cross-purposes with God,
    a slap in my face.
Brazen in their depravity,
    they flaunt their sins like degenerate Sodom.
Doom to their eternal souls! They’ve made their bed;
    now they’ll sleep in it.

10-11 “Reassure the righteous
    that their good living will pay off.
But doom to the wicked! Disaster!
    Everything they did will be done to them.

12 “Skinny kids terrorize my people.
    Silly girls bully them around.
My dear people! Your leaders are taking you down a blind alley.
    They’re sending you off on a wild-goose chase.”

A City Brought to Her Knees by Her Sorrows

13-15 God enters the courtroom.
    He takes his place at the bench to judge his people.
God calls for order in the court,
    hauls the leaders of his people into the dock:
“You’ve played havoc with this country.
    Your houses are stuffed with what you’ve stolen from the poor.
What is this anyway? Stomping on my people,
    grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt?”
That’s what the Master,
    God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says.

I love the reminder that God is whatever and whoever we need Him to be. Here he is needed as a judge. But He is so many things all through the Bible and through Jesus to us today.

16-17 God says, “Zion women are stuck-up,
    prancing around in their high heels,
Making eyes at all the men in the street,
    swinging their hips,
Tossing their hair,
    gaudy and garish in cheap jewelry.”
The Master will fix it so those Zion women
    will all turn bald—
Scabby, bald-headed women.
    The Master will do it.

Whoa. Eek. Sheesh.

18-23 The time is coming when the Master will strip them of their fancy baubles—the dangling earrings, anklets and bracelets, combs and mirrors and silk scarves, diamond brooches and pearl necklaces, the rings on their fingers and the rings on their toes, the latest fashions in hats, exotic perfumes and aphrodisiacs, gowns and capes, all the world’s finest in fabrics and design.

24 Instead of wearing seductive scents,
    these women are going to smell like rotting cabbages;
Instead of modeling flowing gowns,
    they’ll be sporting rags;
Instead of their stylish hairdos,
    scruffy heads;
Instead of beauty marks,
    scabs and scars.

Um what? Lol.

25-26 Your finest fighting men will be killed,
    your soldiers left dead on the battlefield.
The entrance gate to Zion will be clotted
    with people mourning their dead—
A city stooped under the weight of her loss,
    brought to her knees by her sorrows.

God wasn’t playin with these people! Buckle up cuz He has so much more to say in these prophetic books of the Bible. And He is talking about so many of us today…

Do It The Right Way

Soooooo the top picture is my mint plant from Walmart the day I got it. I like mint in my water. The package specifically said to get a pot with a tray. I couldn’t find one in Walmart or Dollar Tree. I did find the walrus named Winston. He came with his own dirt and mint seeds.

You can see what the caption for Snapchat said. SMH.

Between using the mint and likely death, the mint had to leave Winston. I attempted to be creative with the cups. I cut holes in the one on top and put water in the bottom one.

I remembered I had a self-watering pot from another plant that lost its life after five long years and several moves.

Ion know where I was originally going when I started writing this on 1-2.

The pot, well planter, still was not what the instructions said get. But, I went with it.

The thing was struggling. It was super wet when I took it out of its packaging and put it in Winston. It was decently wet when I moved it to the cups. I watered it when I moved it to the planter-not immediately I don’t think. Maybe I did since there was way more soil.

I attempted to prune it. I made sure it was in the sunlight. Gave it water occasionally. Well kinda often but not daily.

I ended up going out of town ans left them with my nature loving-she has actual degrees related to the outdoors and animals-coworker friend.

The plant got pruned and I was told I was giving it too much water so it was drowning. I asked if I needed to change the pot and soil. Chile I put leftover succulent soil from my dead other dead plant in it.

I was told no. I still felt like I should. So there we have the last picture. I rinsed the roots to put it in that soil. When I searched for ways to take care of my first plant, rocks in the bottom was suggested. I rinsed those too.

The thing is still struggling. It’s with my mom who had a mini forest in her room.

I said them above. I planted Winston’s mint in him. He was doing fine until I attempted to shift the soil so it would grow better since I didn’t plant the seeds right. He is struggling too.

Here’s the thing. I spent all this time, exerting all this effort, likely for naught unless my mom works a miracle. Impatient. Or some other thing. The stores I went to didn’t have what I needed.

I could have gone up the street and gotten exactly what I needed. I ended up doing that anyway. Who knows where my plant would be had I just done it the right way to begin with.

Who knows where we would be if we had just gone to God and done some things the right way to begin with.

How many wrong relationships, romantic and friend, have we exerted too much effort over?

How many tests and trials have dragged on or been repeated because we didn’t just take our time and do it the right way to begin with?

How much have we endured needlessly because we were impatient?

I suggest and submit for our consideration that we just do it the right way to begin with.

40 years in the wilderness for a trip that took days should be a lesson and something only the Israelites in Exodus endure. Not us.