Monday, January 25, 2010

25 January 2010

Psalms of Solomon 10

Sadly, I am ubable to copy the Psalm, but you can see it at:

It starts out, "Blesed is th eman whom the Lord remembers with reproving, who is fenced from the evil road by a whip."

This is not the way we think of God. We think of God as love, but we often do not consider what that love truly means. Do you love your children? Sure, everyone does. Do our actions with them always look loving. Not always. When we are slapping their hand or telling them no, it does not always look loving, but it is something that needs to be done. A child who never learned the words "no" or "stop" can be in danger. He or she might be about to put their hands on the hot stove, and we can holler at them to stop, but if they never learned to obey, they will burn their hand. Better to have been swatted a couple of times than to have third degree burns. The same with us. We do not really know what the life to come is going to be like, but one can be sure that being strong and being self disciplined will be part of it. God wants us to grow in knowledge and strength. Just as we learn things from being punished, so do we build up our spiritual muscles by using them to resist that which is evil. Those who never had to resist, often have no power to resist when put in spiritual danger.

We also have to develop our hearts. Again, "Fr the Lord is kind to those who endure discipline." When David sinned, did he blame the devil, or his friends?" No, he admitted his wrong doing and repented to the Lord. An attitude of submission. I fear for some people and some groups. When they are corrected, they get angry instead of accepting the correction. We need to be like David. When we sin, we need to say, "I am the man who sinned against God" and repent, just as David told us.

God is continually with those who accept correction. Their hearts have changed, and God will give that change an opportunity to grow and transform lives. When we do this, we will find the everlasing joy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

17 January 2009

Jeremiah 24: 1-10

So I will regard those exiled from Judah, those whom I have sent away from this place, to the land of the Chaldeans for good.

This is a message that we don't always find. It is good to be exiles? This is kind of a reverse to our way of thinking. Of course part of the reason that it is good is the kings and rulers of Judah are going to be destroyed, but there is more implied here. In the New Testament, we are told that all things work together for the benefit of those who love the Lord, we just do not always see it that way.

For example, in our first lesson today, Jacob runs away from this brother, but comes back with 11 sons, and wives and concubines and sheep. His exile was a blessing for him.

The exile in Babylon was a blessing in another way. The dispersal of the Jews meant that their ideas spread. Would the Magi have known about the coming Messiah if Daniel had not trained the wise men of Babylon? The love of God, righteousness, and the belief in one God were spread by the Jewish diaspora.

We are told in the Psalms of Solomon, Chapter 9, that the dispersion of Israel among every nation was according to the word of God. And we note, after the final dispersion of the Jews in 70 AD, that the Christians (who were Jews) went with the Jews to various Jewish colonies of the world. In Acts, we see the Apostles and others going to Samaria, and Damascus. Paul everywhere he visits, visits the Jews first. Peter visits the Jews in Babylon, St. Thomas started his trips to India at Jewish colonies, as did St. Joseph of Arimathea in his visit to Britain. In other words, these dispersions, while apparently bad things were not. They worked to the spread of the Kingdom.

Likewise, we can look at the disaster in Haiti as an opportunity. An opportunity to spread God's word, and opportunity to rebuild. We need to not only be helping Port-au-Prince with donations, but with our prayers,and sending Godly people there. Haiti had been bound for spiritual chains for many a year because of the massive massacres that occurred during independence, and the Voodoo which pervades the society.

We need to be praying for the spiritual rebirth of the nation.