Bible Thoughts on Anger . . .

James 1:19–21 (ESV)

Hearing and Doing the Word

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Matthew 5:21–26 (ESV)

Anger

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Advertisements

Practical Stuff . . .

I love the book of James.  It is one of the few books that seems to speak to me in plain language.  Don’t have to reach for one of those commentatires, he seems to be able to say it diretly and powerfully.  These are good reminders to me.

James 4:1–4 (ESV)

Warning Against Worldliness

4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James 4:13–4:17 (ESV)

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

James 5:7–12 (ESV)

Patience in Suffering

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Fear is a Liar

I heard the song “Fear Is a Liar”, as I listened to the words, I thought how true fear is, how irrational it is, but how real it is.  I often wrestle with not having fear and having too little faith.  Are faith and fear interchangeable?    If I fear for my life, do I not have faith in the outcome?  If I fear my child getting hurt do, I not have faith.  Is fear fearing the consequences of an event?

The event I the Bible when the disciples and Jesus are all in the boat when a storm comes upon them.  The disciples began to fear for their lives, even though Jesus was in the boat with them, so they wake Jesus up.  This aggravates Jesus a bit and he asks where their faith is?

Luke 8:22–25 (ESV)
Jesus Calms a Storm

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

I wondered why Jesus had no concern, I know he was Jesus, but how was he able to sleep.  I know he is Jesus, but then this song caused me to realize something, Jesus was sleeping because he knows he has nothing to fear on this earth, nothing.  Think of it like this:  Remember when you were a kid sitting in the back seat of your parent’s car on a long trip.  One of the most special feelings was falling asleep, truly trusting your parents to get to where they were going without incident, having nothing to fear.  That is the feeling Jesus wants us to have, he is driving the car and we are the kids in the back seat, trusting him, he will deliver us as promised.

Jesus also refers to “worry”, how can worry enhance our lives.  Isn’t worry a derivative of fear?  I believe anxiety also is a derivative of fear.  Fear is a lack of faith in the consequences of an event we have no control over, or we feel we have control over.

There is so much information, education, and how-to on how to be a better Christian in all parts of our life.  Me, I still have struggles with the single most important commandment Jesus stated:

Matthew 22:36–39 (ESV)
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

My equal challenge is having no fear, having faith, letting the anxiety go.

Luke 12:22–30(ESV)
Do Not Be Anxious

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

 

 

Do I sacrifice for Him as He did for me?

I do not know why, but I was thinking about the sacrifice Jesus made for us.  It is talked about in sermons all the time.  The topic of how horrific his beating was is not talked about as much – even so, to imagine it is still very challenging.

I thought about the challenges I have and am going through and how much I ask God to get me out of this situation.  “Please God, deliver me from my pain and, suffering, place me on a shelf of safety, security and stability.”

My aha question came to me, what am I sacrificing for Jesus?  On a daily basis, could I log what I gave up, I gave up of my flesh desires for my Godly ones.  Which one won today? 

This epiphany has made me think, at the end of each day, I would like to have a log of things I did for God versus what I did for me.  This is not a comparison or a log to show anyone “how good I am” or a log to prove “how bad I am”, it is simply wondering where I stand in my heart. 

At my job, there are analysts that come visit us seemingly on a regular basis.  What there job is, to spot behaviors, of the workers, that could be a cause of error.  When they have brought these behaviors to my attention, I am now aware of them and focus on trying to improve the frequency of them.  Had they not come to let me know, then I would continue the error and possibly having errors in my work.

The same is with this log, just trying to see where I stand.  I can think all day I am this great Christian with a great heart, yet I have sacrificed nothing for my savior Christ.

 

God Continues . . . Obadiah

Obadiah 5–7 (ESV)

If thieves came to you,

if plunderers came by night—

how you have been destroyed!—

would they not steal only enough for themselves?

If grape gatherers came to you,

would they not leave gleanings?

How Esau has been pillaged,

his treasures sought out!

All your allies have driven you to your border;

those at peace with you have deceived you;

they have prevailed against you;

those who eat your bread have set a trap beneath you—

you have no understanding.

Obadiah 8–9 (ESV)

Will I not on that day, declares the Lord,

destroy the wise men out of Edom,

and understanding out of Mount Esau?

And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman,

so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter.

This prophecy is against Edom. Its destruction seems to have been typical, as their father Esau’s rejection; and to refer to the destruction of the enemies of the gospel church. See the prediction of the success of that war; Edom shall be spoiled, and brought down. All the enemies of God’s church shall be disappointed in the things they stay themselves on. God can easily lay those low who magnify and exalt themselves; and will do it. Carnal security ripens men for ruin, and makes the ruin worse when it comes. Treasures on earth cannot be so safely laid up but that thieves may break through and steal; it is therefore our wisdom to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Those that make flesh their trust, arm it against themselves. The God of our covenant will never deceive us: but if we trust men with whom we join ourselves, it may prove to us a wound and dishonour. God will justly deny those understanding to keep out of danger, who will not use their understandings to keep out of sin. All violence, all unrighteousness, is sin; but it makes the violence far worse, if it be done against any of God’s people. Their barbarous conduct towards Judah and Jerusalem, is charged upon them. In reflecting on ourselves, it is good to consider what we should have done; to compare our practice with the Scripture rule. Sin, thus looked upon in the glass of the commandment, will appear exceedingly sinful. Those have a great deal to answer for, who are idle spectators of the troubles of their neighbours, when able to be active helpers. Those make themselves poor, who think to make themselves rich by the ruin of the people of God; and those deceive themselves, who call all that their own on which they can lay their hands in a day of calamity. Though judgment begins at the house of God, it shall not end there. Let sorrowful believers and insolent oppressors know, that the troubles of the righteous will soon end, but those of the wicked will be eternal.  Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Obadiah

There is no compelling reason to doubt the unity of this brief prophecy. Its theme is that Edom, proud over her own security, has gloated over Israel’s devastation by foreign powers. However, Edom’s participation in that disaster will bring on God’s wrath. She herself will be destroyed, but Mount Zion and Israel will be delievered, and God’s kingdom will triumph.

Obadiah 1–4 (ESV)

The vision of Obadiah.

Edom Will Be Humbled

Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom:

We have heard a report from the Lord,

and a messenger has been sent among the nations:

“Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!”

Behold, I will make you small among the nations;

you shall be utterly despised.

Proverbs 24:17–18 (ESV)

17  Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,

and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,

18  lest the Lord see it and be displeased,

and turn away his anger from him.

The pride of your heart has deceived you,

you who live in the clefts of the rock,

in your lofty dwelling,

who say in your heart,

“Who will bring me down to the ground?”

Though you soar aloft like the eagle,

though your nest is set among the stars,

from there I will bring you down,

declares the Lord.

I discovered Obediah is the least read book of the Bible, really!?  I must read this, knowing it also is only four pages long including the NIV intro and explanation and only two chapters.

The chapter is about God’s wrath on a group for not having empathy for misfortunes of both Israel and Judah.  I thought about how this might apply to me, to us right today.

With our political environment as hot and contested as it is, I thought it might apply to our desire to have the other political party fail – and we may cheer and reward ourselves if and when they do.  However, on both sides of the political line are God’s children.  Additionally, I don’t believe as Christians we should cheer anyone’s devastation, but always have empathy.  We may think those that contest our beliefs are bad people and deserve what they get, but I don’t believe that is our judgment.  It’s like I have heard – maybe it was just a TV story, but the story goes, that a woman doctor eventually had to operate and save the life of a man that had raped her.

I hope you will take the twenty minutes or so and read the book, leave me a comment of your take away.

The Term “Nephilim”

Nephilim in the Bible

Other than Genesis 6:4, the only biblical reference to the Nephilim is Numbers 13:33. The Israelite spies return to say that the Nephilim were so tall that they felt as small as grasshoppers in comparison. The translators of the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament), and the Latin Vulgate (the ancient Latin translation of the Old Testament) understand the Nephilim to be giants in this passage. The term used in the Septuagint, gigantes, has other implications as well: it suggests that the Nephilim were the offspring of the “angel” marriages. Greek mythology reflects this understanding, telling the story of the gigantes being products of the union of earth and heaven.

Similarly, in Ezekiel 32:20–28, the author repeatedly speaks of “the warriors” who have fallen in battle and who now inhabit Sheol (the underworld). If this is an allusion to Genesis 6:1–4, it seems likely that the writer of Ezekiel connected the Nephilim with the Hebrew verb meaning “to fall.” This possibility also parallels Greek mythology, which uses gigantes for the defeated and imprisoned beings—now living “in the earth” (an equivalent idea to Sheol). Thus, it seems that Numbers 13:33 and Ezekiel 32:20–28 make clear that the Nephilim did exist later; thus, the traditional understanding of Genesis 6:4 must be incorrect in some way.    Heiser, M.S., 2012, 2016. The Term “Nephilim.” In Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

The Term “Nephilim”

The etymology of the Hebrew term nephilim—often translated “Nephilim”—is uncertain. Its association with the Hebrew verb nafal often yields the rendering “fallen ones,” that is, fallen angels. But it is not clear from the text that the Nephilim are identical with divine beings. Rather, they appear to be the offspring of the cohabitation of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men”—and the offspring may have reproduced as well (Genesis 6:4). Because Numbers 13:33 implies the Nephilim were people of extraordinary physical stature, the term may be understood to mean “giants” or “heroes.” While it is not obvious from the text whether the Nephilim themselves procreated, the Genesis narrative seems to indicate they were destroyed by the flood. If this is the case, there is both a terminology problem and a chronology difficulty in the narrative of the Old Testament. Thus, another solution must be offered.