My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.
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.”
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.”
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.’”
“Come back, wandering children!”
“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.
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.”
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….
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!—
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.
9 “When this happens”
“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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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…….
If You Desert God’s Law
1 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
bold as lions.
2 When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.
3 The wicked who oppress the poor
are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.
4 If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.
5 Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
those who seek God know it inside and out.
6 It’s better to be poor and direct
than rich and crooked.
7 Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.
8 Get as rich as you want
through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
is going to give it all back to them.
9 God has no use for the prayers
of the people who won’t listen to him.
Wow. I could say more and have had thoughts similar. Wow is all I’ll say.
10 Lead good people down a wrong path
and you’ll come to a bad end;
do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.
11 The rich think they know it all,
but the poor can see right through them.
12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
but when the bad are in charge, watch out!
13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.
14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
a hardhearted person lives a hard life.
15 Lions roar and bears charge—
and the wicked lord it over the poor.
16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.
17 A murderer haunted by guilt
is doomed—there’s no helping him.
18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
a devious life is a doomed life.
Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways
19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.
20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.
21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.
23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
far more than bootlicking flattery.
24 Anyone who robs father and mother
and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
is worse than a pirate.
25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.
26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
real survivors learn wisdom from others.
27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.
28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.
“What if I don’t get into law school? What if I don’t pass the bar?”
I vividly remember uttering those words as a 16 or 17 year old child half my life ago. As far back as the 7th grade, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer.
I don’t think it’s because my dad is one. He never practiced full time. I just felt, and feel, it suits my personality. Also, depending on the field of choice, lawyers have the ability to help and bring about change.
It took me a while and some detours, but I made it to and through law school this time last year.
I said I couldn’t take the bar in February because that was too close to my finishing school. I was going to take it in July but I said I didn’t feel like I was retaining the information.
I signed up to take it this February. But I’ve been flirting with not taking it or only taking it once and reevaluating my goals if I fail.
When I talk about taking the bar my response has been if I pass.
But here’s the thing. As a Christian, this is in direct conflict with one of the main pillars of my belief system. Faith is a requirement to walk out this relationship thing with Jesus.
Faith has gotten me here. I had to have faith after being rejected, wait-listed, and accepted with no money to makr the choice to apply for the 4th time two years later.
I had to have faith after I was a horrible student and received a letter stating that I was in jeopardy of being dismissed from school based on my GPA.
Yet, I think that teenager still lives on the inside. I never really struggled until college. And that was minute compared to law school. The bar is a beast that is entirely different from anything I have ever done.
But all these faith scriptures pop up in my head. Not to mention, my coworker question if being a lawyer was my passion versus my plan yesterday.
I believe it’s the tool to walk out my passion. I’m gonna evaluate that. But I am going to take the bar in February.
And who knows. Maybe the issue isn’t fear so much as not wanting to have to pay aaaaaaaaaaall the money it costs to take it again.
This was my Facebook on this day yesterday: failure is merely [a]n opportunity for another chance to do something better the next time. I don’t think I should embrace this in this instance.
I don’t want to fail. I’m going to push this fear as far back as I can. And set myself up to succeed.
Ok. So forever I’ve been trying to come up with an intelligent, politically correct way to state my feelings on this whole equality and gay marriage situation. I can’t remember if I’ve attempted and dotlnt wanna go read all my posts this early before work.
What I will say is that my religious beliefs opposes homosexuality but love every single homosexual. People will wonder how can that be. It’s the whole hate the sin love the sinner that Christ, you know the dude who Christians are supposed to follow and model themselves after, spoke and mote importantly exemplified.
I mean come on. He loved a liar, betrayer who assisted his choice to lay down his life, a prostitute, a multiply married bed hopper he should have never associated with, and a doubter. A man whose life mission was to destroy his people and the legacy he died to create was the greatest apostle ever.
Almost every single person I’ve encountered who is a homosexual or believe it’s ok are awesome people-some of the best people I know. While I don’t agree with their beliefs or lifestyle, and they don’t agree with mine, I see their value and worth. Some of these people are Christians. Some aren’t. But I will tell you at times they’ve treated me better than those who lay claim to the same faith.
The interesting thing with Christians against homosexuality is that they seem to have something in common with Christians for slavery. Pause. I can’t believe I wrote it either. I don’t think that the fight for love and marriage equality is on par with the fight against slavery and for equal rights. But the Christians share an absolutely common trait.
Both sets of Christians have decided to pick and choose certain parts of the Bible to stand behind while conveniently ignoring others. I’m guilty of it in areas of my life.
Jesus told Peter to render unto Caesar what is his when the fish provided a coin. Not only that. The Bible says, paraphrased, to obey them that have rule over you. The Bible says, again to paraphrase, that you have to obey the law. I fail miserably every time I speed.
One of the core ideals of this nation is the idea of the separation of church and state. That’s why prayer is gone. That’s why people have campaigned against God on money and in the pledge. I don’t agree but I can’t fault them. That’s what this country’s law has allowed.
This country’s law has now allowed same sex marriage. All these politicians and government officials don’t agree. That’s fine. I’m sure no contract said they had to religiously agree. But they have to do their jobs. They have to obey the law.
The Bible also says there is a time for every thing under the sun. Talk radio, the news, the pulpit, the barbershop, Sunday dinner, op-eds, whatever, that’s the place for these grandstands.
Sure, I can see belief coming into play when arguing or voting for or against the law. It’s completely rational to argue that there is no true 100% separation. But the law is the law. And loving your neighbor is loving your neighbor. Modern day Christians are so much like Bible day Saducees and Pharisees. Again. I’ve been guilty.
Don’t agree. That is your right. Refusing to love, accept, and obey the law makes you just as bad as those you judge. Sure some sins are abominations. But sin is sin. No big one. No little one. They’ll all send you to hell-that is if that’s what you believe.