Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Zechariah 1-7 (8 visions) we are....almost finished with the Old Testament!!! COME ON NEW!!!!!!! SHEW! Hang in there! :)

Zechariah is about judgment and salvation for Judah and the nations; the rebuilding of the Temple as a sign of God's presence; and the nation's leaders in relation to God. The New Testament gospels quote Zechariah (in part two...chapters 9-14) more than any other prophet in the their narratives of Jesus' last days.......reflecting on Jesus as the Messiah. Zechariah, with Ezekiel, have an influence on the book of Revelation.

There are 8 visions in chapters 1-6.....each contributes to a picture meant to be seen as a whole.

vision 1 : The 4 horsemen are patroling the world on God's the mounted patrols which "policed" the persian empire.

vision 2: the four horns....a vivid picture of destruction of the hostile powers which had the ground the nation down--the powerful "horns"

vision 3-- the measuring line-- the wall around Jerusalem had been destroyed and was to be rebuilt...God will be the protecting wall around Jerusalem.

vision 4 --the high priest re-robed. Joshua stands before God representing the people...Joshua's clothes are filthy but God''s purpose is to restore and renew his people.

vision 5 -- lamps and olive trees -- this vision is interrupted by the word from God to Zerubabbel. The lampstands are the Temple and the faithful Jewish worshipers....they are like a light/lamp on a hill...cannot be hidden. The olive trees are 2 men chosen (anointed) by God to serve Him.

vision 6 -- a giant flying scroll comes from God and represents his Law.

vision 7 -- a basketful of wickedness -- a basket like used for measuring grain and all of wickedness is contained in it. God's angel ensure that no evil can escape. All of it is carried off on strong wings, far away to the land of Babylon, the land of the exile. The cleansing is complete.

vision 8 -- four horse drawn chariots -- the riders are God's patrolmen and judge all four corners of the earth. The nations have been judged, God's Spirit is a rest, and there will be peace.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hosea 1-11

Well....another book completed in the Word of the Lord!!! AMEN!!! :) Do you remember anything we've read? Probably not....but we recognized things more when we are studying for Sunday school lessons or Bible study!

chapter 1 Hosea obeys God's instruction to marry Gomer....a prostitute. Although difficult...even repulsive...Hosea does not hesitate. Just as the Lord reveals himself to Job through his suffering and gains a more intimate relationship with him, the Lord uses Hosea's marriage to Gomer to mirror the people of Israel's unfaithful relationship with Him. God is always ready to forgive and restore us -- if we repent....regardless of the sin in our lives.

chapter 2 Gomer is unfaithful to her marriage vows.....another mirror of Israel's unfaithfulness to the Lord. The picture in the words of v. 2-23 is one of blatant unfaithfulness. Without thought God's people go their own way to worshiping false gods. They run from God and indulge in all kinds of wickedness. but it is not God's intention to leave them in their sin. Without fail, God is angered at his people's unfaithfulness and works to draw them back to Himself. There is reassurance of hope and comfort for those who have wondered.

chapter 3 Hosea is reconciled with his wife.......Gomer ran away from him and their children so I'm sure it would be hard to take her back.....but remember this IS JUST a metaphor for the people of Israel and their relationship with the Lord. But the Lord instructs Hosea to take Gomer back....just as the Lord will take his own unfaithful children back. God is faithful to Israel (and us) even when we don't deserve it.

chapter 4 spiritual prostitution.....leads them astray..they have a bent to unfaithfulness to God....we too, today, have the same bent. The act of prostitution may not be involved, but anytime we turn to our culture for gratification or consolation instead of turning to God, we exhibit the same "spirit of prostitution."

chapter 5 HUM....."does God hide?"verse 6.....does God hide himself from us when we blatantly and consistently disobey him...well, maybe...but He doesn't ever abandon us! there is a difference, don't you think? He has promised never to leave us as orphans or abandon us!We are never separated fully from God!

chapter 6 God does deal with his people harshly when they break his covenant but he does not withhold himself. When His people cry out...he comes like the spring rains!! all to often and like with Hosea's time, the repentance is all too short lived. When the people sin and then repent, a faithful God is there with forgiveness and the restoration of soft spring rains. But his patience will not last forever.

chapter 7 the lust for power causes the princes of the land to assassinate their kings. Hosea does not mention any one king, but several kings of Israel are killed just before judgment falls on the nation.

chapter 8 sowing and reaping...sow the wind and reap a whirlwind! As the people of Israel continue to plant the seeds of idolatry and lust, the result is a whirlwind of instability and chaos in their personal lives and in the life of the nation.

chapter 9 at the end of the harvest, a feast was held on the threshing floor....where the reapers then slept to guard the grain from thieves. Women were not encouraged to attend, but prostitutes took advantage of the occasion. The lesson here.....when we have an intimate relationship with God, we trust that he will work out the details. We need not be afraid.

chapter 10 when the Israelites finally wake up to the magnitude of their sin against God, they will be filled with shame. The very land where they worship idols and practice sexual immorality will be brought down, exposing their betrayal of the Lord. Those who recognize their sin at the end of the world will prefer to have the mountains crush them than to have to face judgment from God!

chapter 11 God is taken his chosen people, by the hand....nurturing them, leading, teaching, and loving them as a parent would a child.

tomorrow: Hosea 12-14 and all of Joel....all 3 chapters of the whole book!! :) Love the minor prophets...nice and short!! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Daniel 4-6

Daniel 4-6

chapter 4 was the king crazy? One commentary says he was delusional even! :) In verse 13, it refers to "the holy one." Probably an angel sent by God with a warning for King N.: if he doesn't acknowledge the God of heaven as sovereign, he will be cut down like the tree in his dream.

chapter 5 Daniel's humility is in distinct contrast to the pride of the king. Belshazzar tries to bribe Daniel with purple clothing, a gold chain, and a royal title. But Daniel doesn't want such gifts. He knows the true King--the God of heaven. He also knows that soon Babylon will fall because of King Belshazzar's pride and idol worship. Daniel has unswerving loyalty to God...a foundation that proves more satisfying than any gift or any given title.

chapter 6 The lion's den! the men are jealous of Daniel and are trying to trip him up.....but they quickly realize that no ordinary means will accomplish their task. Somehow they will have to fabricate a way to make obeying his God illegal for Daniel. Therefore...the law that there can be no worship of God for 30 days......

no blogging tomorrow or the next day....gone to OKC for a retreat with the Singing ChurchWomen of Oklahoma!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Daniel 1-3

This is for my sweet mother and dear daddy....sorry I haven't blogged in two weeks. Hannalee is in the playpen.....let's see if I can get this done!!!

Well.....I seem to catch the end of books....we've now finished Ezekiel...I was tired of the cubits!! Goodness.....a cubit is about 18" or in those days, they measured from their elbow to the tips of their fingers...not a very standard unit of measurement. :)

To sum up Ezekiel.....God judged the nations for their rebellion against God. I love how many times at the end of each judgment it says "then they will know that I am the Lord." I don't think they ever got it!! Dern....we don't either sometimes....and God is right there telling us, showing us, loving us, and guiding us in His will and His ways!! After the prophecy of judgment, Jerusalem falls....the leaders and the people were denounced. There is a vision for a new Temple....God gives this vision to Ezekiel and a vision of God returning in glory to a new Temple.....God in the midst of the people never to leave again.

On to Daniel.........this book is divided into two parts....the first 6 chapters relate to the historical events of we have Daniel and his 3 fiery friends! :) Notice that the rest of the book is written in first person and records the 4 visions of future events given to Daniel in his old age.

chapter 1 Daniel and his friends are young and dedicated...they are not going to compromise their religion by eating unclean food. They want the veggies and water for 10 days to prove that they can not only survive, but thrive, by sticking to their beliefs!!! They were in a special training school to be servants to the king. Because of their beliefs and convictions, they "graduated with honors."

chapter 2 King Nebuchadnezzar's dream........ in ancient days, dreams were considered important as a means of foretelling the future and communicating the will of "the gods." Daniel was tested right after this school. Interpreting dreams was a well-established role of the Babylonian magicians. But anyone can come up with an interpretation. But Daniel believes that God alone can reveal the dream as well as its meaning. Daniel has the faith to pray for this! The king was ready to kill all the wise men of Babylon if the dream wasn't revealed and interpreted. Lucky for Daniel he believes in God!!! The only One who has the ability to do what the king asks. Daniel acknowledges God in heaven as the one who reveals mysteries and interprets dreams Daniel knows this with certainty because he and his friends cried out to God in the night asking for wisdom to interpret the dream. And of course he received it. Daniel foretells events that are to come to pass during and following the king's reign. The most important part of the dream is that the dream is the eternal kingdom that God will one day establish.....a kingdom that will never be destroyed and never end. We don't know the hour, buy we do know that God will reign supreme at the end of the age......Jesus come quickly! :)

chapter 3 the ordeal of the fiery furnace - - So obviously years have passed and the king forget that he once thought God was supreme.......king Neb. set up his own gold image to be worshiped. But Daniel and his friends know that there is only one God and God's law forbids them to worship any other. The know God can deliver them from a terrible death. The flames kill those who throw the friends in the fire and burn their own bonds, but they all come out with not so much smoke on them....there was even a godlike figure walking with them in the fire. The king is compelled to worship God again.

tomorrow:: 4-6

taddaaaaaa! I blogged! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ezekiel 5-8

Don't miss the pics I've posted of JJ and Smokey and Cowboy Jerry! :)

chapter 5 Oh my.....what a crazy book we are reading! IS still the OLD Testament! :) This is where Ezekiel "acts out" the siege of Jerusalem....took me a while to read and then realize what was really going on and why!! Thank goodness for commentaries! :) So these are "props" for the drama .......a large sun-dried brick on which Ezekiel draws an outline of the city; and the metal plate on which they bake their flat loaves of bread. We are in the realm of the symbol, as so often is in this book. The people watch and get the message. With growing horror they see him weigh out his meagre measure of mixed grain and eke out his water ration. T hey see the prophet wasting away, as the population of Jerusalem will do under seige. Then they watch him shave his head, sharing Jerusalem's disgrace. They will see him burn his hair and toss it away, till only a tiny handful--representing the exiles themselves--remains. It is an awesome lesson.

chapters 6-7 The acted message is reinforced by the spoken word. The people's flagrant idolatry is about to bring destruction upon themselves.....judgment from which there is no escape. They they will know that the Lord is God indeed. Terrible, total calamity is befalling the land.

chapter 8 there is total departure from the true religion of Israel. A Canaanite god has been set up in the Lord's Temple and the leaders are practicing animal worship while the women are mourning the Sumerian god. Men have turned their backs on God to worship the sun.

tomorrow: 9-12

Rainbow Lane --pony ride

Rodeo Day at Rainbow Lane ......Papa Jerry took Smokey the pony to school for all of JJ's new best friends to ride.

This is one of JJ's friends.....Carson Price. We used to go to church with them at our old church.

Kissing Smokey the Pony for doing an excellent job on the pony rides!
Hugging his Papa Jerry and telling him "Thank you" for being our "real cowboy" today!

When I went back to pick up JJ, Mrs. Fryman said that JJ was making sure all of his friends got a ride...."did you ride my pony?" "Did you ride my pony?" "Did you ride my pony?" ....he made sure they all did! He was proud to share the pony and the cowboy!