Reprobate Mind - Is of the mind that it is in control even when it is not. Here we see the intent revealed by parable, we see the attempt to trap Jesus in words being foiled, and the fear of what the people would think holding them back. And yet they will soon do exactly what the parable says that they will do. What control does it actually have?
Though this incident appears to resolve itself, doesn't at least appear that there is much friction between those tribes on the other side of Jordan and those on the Canaan? A decision is made to build a curious alter without announcing their intent, and the others would gather in a warlike stance without first determining the intent. Perhaps it is the english translanslation here but, building a testimony to stand between us and you for future generations seems to me biased and perhaps prejudicial and anticipating division and rift.
Reprobate Mind - Look at how quick they forget God. All of the battles. All of the victories under impossible odds. All of the miracles. So much for rational thought, the heart instead does what it wants and from that proceeds to rationalize it. The heart certainly has it's problems with God.
Do you remember how they swore upon the rock just two chapters ago at the end of Joshua? One generation should not make oaths for the children of the next. Did they not take into account that Joshua may well have brought all this up because of something he knew all to well? There were already foriegn gods in their possession for them to have to put away.
Interesting that religious hypocrisy is addressed so closely to the fear of others, the covetousness of brothers and dispute over inheritance, mis-appropriation of riches and insecurity over God's provisions. We could take the course of interpretation that these are separate unrelated items or we could consider more deeply the possible connections. I find the fear and insecurity angles possible indications that all items might be connected.
Enemies of the Lord use this occasion against us to this day. It is presented by them that Israel was apostate and rejected of God long before this event and that God's effort had long since been with them and their religion. This would mean too that the blood line to the Messiah was no longer through David which would eliminate the rightful claims of Christianity.
Can't help but think of the parable Jesus gave on the distant vineyard owner that sent envoys to gather it's produce only to be rejected by the hired hands. Jesus hints that there were those who knew who the Son was and yet killed Him to steal away His inheritance kjv@Mark:12:1-12. Who in this crowd would He be talking about?
Repairs to the temple and .... oh ya .... we found this book. Seems things had been so far off in Jerusalem for so long that not even the priests there knew of the existence and where abouts of this book. No wonder God was raging mad at Judah...His house and no one knows where His book is kept. By the way, do you know where His book has been kept in your house?
Much like Judah, when God is providing and blessing and is non-judgmental, people are more then willing to allow some resemblance of God into their lives. But, when the tables turn and God stands off in displeasure and reproof the same nominal people shut down and disallow any resemblance. The void is quickly muddied by every other notion and imagination. It is essentially the same god served in both cases, the god of whatever serves me best.
Words similar to the Assyrian King's echo brashly still today. I guess when you've been fighting against paper tigers all this time you'd just expect every other god to fall in the same manner. Many people today feel that this is what all gods are. Our God uses these people at times to test and foster the faithfulness of His beloved. What do these puppets get out of the deal? A moment of feeling brash and superior.
Yes, new wine often produces men and women that suddenly speak in multiple foreign dialects proficiently. How else could it be explained? (sarcasm). Had I only known that when I was trying to teach myself Spanish last time.
There seems to be an observable transformation in Peter having the Spirit now. We have not heard Him quote and reason Old Testament scripture before let alone so boldly with such confidence. Just days ago he was part of a group that was over extending itself beyond the direction of the Spirit, but now he seems fully in step and infused by It. The Spirit is bringing Jesus' words and teachings to effect and Peter and the group are an observable example.
The spectacle of the manifestation of the Spirit is providing the opportunity, the revelations (past/present/future) by the Spirit is providing the conviction, the unity in the Spirit is providing the furtherance and continuance. The very presence of the Spirit in this manner is the absolute proof.
In the midst of such other foreign and exotic beauty it is hard to find one that unanimously stands apart. There must have been something more than beauty that set Esther so far apart so as to obtain such grace and favor. Thinking ahead through what will soon transpire I would say that it was a work of God.
A good start is made by the youngest man. He has respectfully kept his silence, he has attempted to keep matters of personality and titles out of the way, he heard all of the matter until the others had said all that they could think of to be said, seeing no resolution he begins to confess his objective thoughts. Though it was described as coming out of his wrath, it seems quiet calmly presented. It will be interesting to see if he is wise enough as a youth to keep these issues separated out.
That God can do everything and no thought can be hidden from Him is truly transformative. We have gone this long journey with Job to find that God is much to be feared, there is so much that we just don't understand. The image we have of Him is an image built to our own advantage. The pedestal we put our intellect and self image on needs to be abhorred and repented of. Before, Job had only heard of these things, now, he has seen. Everything that he has been through has led him to this.
Paul's ordained mission was quiet simple as is ours: to witness all that we have seen and heard. Not to be great thinkers or tremendous leaders. Not to attend and have considerable impact in the weekly planning committee meetings. Perhaps these things come as a result. However, no matter what our position or prowess or gifting the mission/intent is exactly the same.
Again it doesn't say that he wont see trouble, it says that he will come out of. Trouble here is associated with transgression. It could be that he will come out of his own transgressions by willingly repenting or it could be that the wicked man's transgression will cause him trouble that he will emerge from safely.
A government driven false economy develops around the service of the poor. Money that should be flowing to the truly needy is sucked up by the service providers and delivery mechanisms installed. It is not so much the rich who desires to increase his riches that oppresses, but the workers and providers who see the service of poor as their employment career and retirement. The government sees the system as a means of inflating their employment numbers. Where are the poor left? Better off? Oppressed?
Peter received correction. Had he been the first Pope and had the Pope been given immutable divine interpretation as supposed by Roman Catholic doctrine, he would not have needed correction. Paul would have shamefully exceeded his lesser authority. Their doctrine follows from a possible misinterpretation on the proclamation Jesus made that on 'this Rock' He would build His church. Rock more likely meaning the divinely revealed faith and not just Cephas 'the rock' personally kjv@Matthew:16:17-20 (literally - You are 'piece of rock' and upon this 'massive Rock' (which flesh and blood have not revealed) I build my church).
There is the eternal salvation direct from our confession and repentance acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord, the salvation that because of His sacrifice was purchased and imputed to us. There is also the salvation having the knowledge of Jesus Christ that we are fruitful with as applied toward our daily circumstances and situations; this is the type of salvation that we work out. One can be saved in the one sense but yet be a poor worker of the salvation that effects daily life, even by the things in this same chapter Paul speaks to, contention and strife and isolation from the broader body etc..
tsk@Lamentations:2:14 Here are numerous reminders that the Lord had exposed the false prophets to them on several occasions and yet they still listened to the others. False prophets did not end during this captivity nor did they end in the time of the early church. They remain and flourish today. They are exposed over and over and yet do we listen to them. It is in part because the true prophet discovers our inequity, in part because we are self justified and vain, in part because our image of God does not allow for Him to do this.
The symbolism of husband and wife has been used to depict our spiritual nature by several authors in many places in the bible. Here, if I read this right is an interesting insight of a wife that sees her God as Baali or master when she should see him as Ishi husband. His love then is the key difference. A master can master with or without love, impose his rule over her. A husband loves and gives himself for her, he builds her up and protects her. Her perception and response is much different given the two.
The all important first love. The church of Ephesus is doing a whole lot right. They contend for the faith as Jude would exhort, resist evil and suffer for Christ's name sake as Peter. Their first love no doubt was for Him as a person and for each other as His friends. For as much as they are doing right, they still need to obey the great commandment kjv@Mark:12:30-31.
In Pergamos we see a likeness to the two previous churches, faithfulness under severe persecution and having to deal with apostates amongst the brethren. This church however had not been as successful holding out the apostates and is in need of repentance in this same regard. We could say in effect that they need to return to their first love as their first love would not have mixed and commingled these blots and dead relics.
The church of Thyatira is battling a particular prophetess with much satanic influence. Effectually, they are consenting to her crafts by suffering her a place in their community/congregation. The Lord is dealing with her in His own way. He is asking them to beware and resist her and those that are bedding with her (consenting/allowing to her doctrine) by holding fast to the faith.
Some suggest that the Magi may have been influenced historically by the wise writings/influence of Daniel, at least indirectly. There is a lot of mystery over who these men are and how they knew what they did.