Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 37-40 So Jeremiah sunk in the mire

Jeremiah 37-40

We finally get to the good stuff!!!
Egypt and the Chaldeans duke it out in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah runs away to Benjamin but is thrown in jail for being a pompous dick.  Again.

Is this a new prison term for Jeremiah or is this just Quentin Tarantino style of writing?

Jeremiah gets stuck in the mud and has to be pulled out by ropes!!!  LOL!
Is this what the OT has come to?  The hell and brimstone has devolved into cranky prophets stuck in the med.

Zedekiah asks for jeremiah to give it to him straight.  Jeremiah lays out the kings options

Jerusalem falls to Babylon after two years of battle.  Zedekiah flees with family but is caught.  The Chaldeans decimate Jerusalem.
39:4 And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain.

39:5 But the Chaldeans' army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him.
39:6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.

Sounds exactly like Muammar Gaddafi and his family.  The more things change...

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 34-36

Jeremiah 34-36

Second verse same as the first.  More repetition on Judah falling to Babylon.

My question is, how often is Jeremiah coming up with these predications?

I did like the drama in the last half of chapter 36.  Lesson;  You don't burn a man's leaves and get away with it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 30-33

Book of Jeremiah 30-33

Seems like God is admitting failure and looking to start over with the Israelites.

31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

If they come back to him, he'll forget all the sinning and move forward.

The LORD then over sees the purchase of land.  With the Israelites forsaking him and not feeding him his savory meats, he had to get a second job to put food on his plate. ;-)
32:14 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.

32:15 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.

The end result is that Jeremiah (?) owns some of the promised land.   But how does he buy the land if he's in jail?  Where did he get the gold?  

God has visions of a wonderful future, like he did when he started down this path with Abraham, but the reality of the situation will be much different.
32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:

32:38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:

32:39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:

32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 27-29 The Yokes on You (or, God Hates Figs)

Jeremiah 27-29

Chapter 27 is ridiculously redundant to all the previous chapters.  29 is not much better.

Chapter 28 on the other hand gives us rival prophets!  Prophet Hananiah comes to spread the good word. Babylon is gonna be toast and God will be be restored to his rightful place in the eyes of his chosen people.

28:10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it.
28:11 And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

Was Jeremiah really wearing a yoke?!?!

Jeremiah says 'Nope.  God is going to make you folks suffer.  And Hananiah, your a dead man'
28:15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
28:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
28:17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Actual Bible Quote of the Week!

29:17 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

The Israelites are used to the sword, the famine and the pestilence so God sends them a bad fruit basket from Harry and David.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 24-26 the residue of Jerusalem

Jeremiah 24-26

WOW!  We start off with prophet Jeremiah foretelling two future prophets.

24:1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
24:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

This is an obvious reference to Jesus (the carpenter and good fig) and Joseph Smith (the Mormon prophet and bad fig).  ;-)

Chapter 25 shows God once again being unjust. OK, maybe he wasn't really unjust, just mean.
25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
25:12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

He sends the people of Judah off to Babylon as punishment for not obeying him, and then, he punish the next generation of Babylon for subjugating  the people of Judah.  Once again I feel like I've got to be reading this wrong.  Can God be such a hypocritical jerk?

So, God commands Jeremiah to take the "Wine Cup of Fury" and make all nations drink from it!
25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.
25:16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.
25:27 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.
25:28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.

Again, if these good folks aren't interested in obeying a god that wants them dead, why would they want to drink from his deadly cup?!?!

Regardless, we get word of a great slaughter directly from God's mouth.  He promises to lay waste to the evil men.

 How much do you want to bet he backs off?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 20-23

Jeremiah 20-23

Jeremiah gets nabbed by Pashur and thrown in the clink but that doesn't stop Jeremiah from predicting the worst for his captor.

He pulls a George Bailey and wishes he was never born.

Chapter 21 has God/Jeremiah commanding the people of Judah to surrender and become slaves to Babylon or die.  I guess following God's law is no longer an option.

Parts of chapter 22 confuses me a bit.

22:8 And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city?

22:9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.

All the 'other nations' most likely don't believe in the LORD of the Israelites so they wouldn't say "look at what God did".  They would most likely say "Those foolish people put their faith in a false god that couldn't protect them and now they are our slaves".  I know were reading this from a perpective of the oppressed but, really.

I also find this rather funny;
22:13 Woe unto him buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work

God makes his people the slaves of others (on several occasions) but then admonishes those that use slaves.   Can someone explain this to me?

Chapter 23 repeatedly has Jeremiah saying the LORD is against those lying prophets.

Pot and Kettle Jeremiah!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

God’s Sovereignty (Audio Lecture)

Commenter Adam gave me this link while discussing a previos post Why Does God Get Mad?
It's a class (audio only) from Dr. R.C. Sproul on God's ability to save mankind.  Why does he save some and not others?  From the site;
"Does God have the ability to save everyone? If He does, then why didn’t He? Has God placed limits on His sovereignty in man’s salvation?"

Renewing Your Mind Lecture from Dr. Sproul  (I tried to imbed the lecture but it wouldn't take)

I found the lecture pretty interesting but rather unsatisfying .  He asks a lot of questions and lays it out well but ultimately doesn't give an answer.  And I really didn't get a sense of what God's sense of justice is supposed to be.  The doctor does say at one point he doesn't know and I guess that means we CAN"T know.
Perhaps in a follow up lecture we'll find out more.

Listen if you have 20 minutes and let me know what you think.
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Book of Jeremiah 16-18

Jeremiah 16-18

God starts off with a friendly warning to Jeremiah;

6:2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place.
Why?  Because he's going to cause the deaths of every man, woman and child in the neighborhood.

16:4 They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth:and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

Once again this loving god is going to kill innocent women and children and let their bodies be eaten by wild animals because their fathers have forsaken him.
I can understand when God ignores the people that stop worshiping him, but to actively seek out and kill them (especially the women and children) is unacceptable.
His stated reason is a show of power and ego.

16:21 Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD.

Great writing here!
17:1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

The last part of chapter 17 seems to indicate that God will revitalize Jerusalem if his people will just observe the sabbath and take the day off!  Sounds like an easy enough task!

Jeremiah gets really paranoid in chapter 18, like most of the previous prophets.  His dementia can't be total if he suspects that others will think he's making all this stuff up.  After all God himself said that prophets are liars!

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why does God get mad?

Stupid question;
If God knows all.  If God has written history from the beginning of time until the end of time, why does he get so angry when man screws up?  He already knows that they're going to disappoint him and turn away from him repeatedly.  He made them that way.

Just wondering, so enlighten me!

Book of Jeremiah 13-15 Dirty Girdle

Jeremiah 13-15

Chapter 13 starts off sounding like a set up for a joke but there is no pay-off.  Can anyone make something funny out of it?

God is going to cause Jerusalem to expose it's proverbial privates to expose it's naughtiness.

13:26 Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.
13:27 I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?

If the city's already being bad, why does he need to expose it?

God once again tells them that they are screwed no matter what.  He ain't listening.

14:12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.

God also tells a prophet that prophets are liars!  Except for Jeremiah of course.  That was probably mentioned in his ad in the local paper.
14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
14:15 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.

I'm finding it interesting that the LORD is always threatening Israel with near utter destruction like in first part of chapter 15 but he never follows thru.  Unlike the bloodthirsty god of the first part of the OT, this god just talks shit he can't back up with action.  

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 10-12 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns:

Jeremiah 10-12

God disapproves of your Christmas tree.

10:3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
10:4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

God is sad because people won't set up his tabernacle.  Did he forget that 'God helps those who help themselves'?
10:19 Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous; but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.

10:20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.

I thought you were SUPPOSED to pray for sinners?  Does this mean that no one is praying for my salvation? :-(
11:14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.

We haven't seen God commit genocide in a while.  
11:22 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:
11:23 And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.

All in all, Jeremiah just seems cranky today.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 7-9 the confusion of their own faces

Jeremiah 7-9

Who was Jeremiah writing for?  Who was his (or any other prophets) audience?  Did they write and then take to the streets to preach?  Was he a prophet for someone in a place of power?

We get more of the same in this reading.  God's not happy.
God/Jeremiah starts of pretty pissed.  Better not make eye contact.

7:19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?
7:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

Um, What???
7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices
Jeremiah must not have read the books of Moses!  He does remember many of the other commandments.

This was sadly funny;
7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

God is mad because HE wanted to burn their sons and daughters alive.

All in all. nothing really new or exciting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book of Jeremiah 4-6 My bowels, my bowels!

Jeremiah 4-6

Jeremiah prophesies again and sure enough, folks are in trouble because they've forgotten the LORD.
We're only a few chapters into this book and it already sounds like the broken record of Isaiah.

To save everyone some time, this is what every prophet says;
Oh Israel!  you have turned away from the god that has created you and led you out of Egypt!
God is sad that you don't bring him lunch anymore and have taken up false idols and lusty women!
The LORD is going to punish you for this by killing many, destroying your crops and kicking you in the nuts, but he still loves you.  REALLY!  He's doesn't WANT to hurt you.  He'd rather make you oatmeal and raison cookies but you just don't freakin' listen do you?!?!
Good news though, God can see in the future and says that eventually all of you will wise up and get your act together.

Who says the Bible doesn't have humor!

5:8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.

Gotta love this line!  Jeremiah outs himself as a fraud.

5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

6:22 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.

The take away from this reading is that God is sending the bad guys from the north to mess with his beloved people.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's a Duck

Bunnies show us the difference between evidence and belief.
From http://i.imgur.com/1BXxi.jpg

Jeremiah 1-3 A prophet unto the nations

Jeremiah 1-3

Isaiah is done but Jeremiah looks to be just as tough to get through.  I'm actually fondly remembering the wholesale slaughter in the Book of Joshua.
The guys sure aren't Elijah/Jesus level prophets.

How do we know Jeremiah is a prophet?  He says he is.
How does HE know he's a prophet?  God told him so.  'nuff said.  After all, no one questions that John Smith was a true prophet.

So, we've proven Jeremiah is a prophet, but we don't get any profit out of the first few chapters in his book.  Just the same old speech about Israelites turning away from God and God being sad.

Jeremiah doesn't mince words.  He doesn't care much for the actions of Israel or Judah.

3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

Even though they are both horrible states, God like Israel better.  He gives them a chance.

3:12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

Finally, at the end of chapter 3 we get a little light prophecy about reunification, but any dime-store prophet could have prophesied that.
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

2012-The Return to Critical Thought

We're only two-thirds of the way thru the KJV Bible, but I'm trying to think about what will be demanding too much of my time in the coming year.

The subject is easy.  Critical Thought.  While the KJV has been very interesting at times, my blood pressure is suffering from the contant acceptance of the super natural and magic.  I crave evidence.

I want to read 3 or 4 books, depending on when we finish up here.  I DON'T want to post every day.  Maybe once a week.  How and what I post about the books I haven't yet decided.  I don't how the dialogue will work.

The one book I will definitely do is Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World.  There isn't a better book on the subject of why science is important to mankind.
A strong contender is James Burke's Connections.  He does an incredible job of laying out how mankind builds on previous knowledge to advance civilization, and how quickly the world can change.
Burke did a great video series based on his Connections books.  You can probably find them at the library.
The other books will likely be ones that I own but haven't read yet.  These are only a few of the books on my shelf.
Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things
Thomas Gilovich's How We Know What isn't So
James Kakalios' The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics.  James makes tough science fun and easy to understand.  He also has a great book titled The Physics of Superheroes.

I was thinking of doing a book by Michio Kaku or Stephen Hawking but I think they may be a little heady and require that people have more then a passing knowledge of physics.  They are also theoretical physicists and I want to keep the reading grounded in evidence based knowledge.
I do recommend their books though.  They present some fun and compelling ideas.

So, what are your thoughts?  You in or out?  What books would you like to read?

As a bonus, are there any TV shows, movies or documentaries that we should try to tackle on the side?

You can enjoy Carl Sagan's Cosmos for free on Hulu.  Knowing the science of the universe makes it all the more beautiful and amazing.Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book of Isaiah 63-66 Where for art thou?

Isaiah 63-66

This book has dragged on forever.  The folks that compiled the KJV left out a lot of stuff.  Why didn't they cut Isaiah down to 20-30 chapters?

We do get some really good writing  from Isaiah at the end and he asks a really good question;
'Hey God!  Where did you go? Why don't you hang out with us like you did with Abraham and Moses?'

He asks these questions but he already knows the reason.  Israel is a collective bunch of screw-ups who can't/won't follow God's rules.  Pretty simple.

God has a good answer for him;
'I watch you continually disappointing me and I know you'll always be this way but I won't destroy you completely.  Some of you will obey and I'll be nice to you.'

He seems to indicate that he'll start again from scratch;

65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

Chapter 66 is how ALL the books of the bible should end!!!  Fire! Death! Redemption!  Every word is gold.  We get a concise explanation of what God plans to do.

Isaiah may be long-winded but he knew how to finish with a bang.

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