I’m almost done with my third reading of 1 Samuel and I had to get my thoughts down about King Saul, the first King of Israel.
There’s so many lessons here that we can apply to our own lives, in today’s modern world. Mainly, the importance of patience and obeying God’s commandments even in the face of overwhelming pressure and anxiety.
Points Discussed: Modern-Day Christians Want God to Help Them Right Away? Why Some Humans Prefer Human Leadership over God’s Leadership – @1:20 Lack of Patience Under Intense Pressure – @3:48 Saul Failed with the Amalekites – @5:22 Obeying God’s Commandments is Better than Sacrifices – @7:18 If God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers, Will You Reject God? – @8:32 Saul Relied on Mediums – @10:10
Kevin Samuels used to say, “Y’all want a Boaz, but y’all not Ruth!” After reading the Book of Ruth for the 3rd time and taking the criticism into consideration, I had some thoughts here.
What Happens when People Do What’s Good in their Own Eyes
The Levite’s Concubine (Gibeah’s Crime) and how Women were Treated
Boaz as a Role Model for Men
Ruth as a Role Model for Women
Marriage and Divorce
A Biblical High-Value Man
Ruth MADE THE FIRST MOVE!
As always, I encourage everyone to read the Bible for themselves. Don’t just rely on the pastor or what someone told you the Bible says. Go to the source. Read it for yourself. Use your own mind to make conclusions about what you believe. God bless!
Is it bad that I wish we could go back to the Old Testament laws? One of the things I like to say about the Bible is the New Testament teaches us the Gospels (Greek for good news), but the Old Testament teaches us about God’s character.
This is my 3rd reading of Deuteronomy and I confess…it’s getting really difficult to see what’s happening in the world and not harbor all kinds of hate and resentment in my heart. It’s tough because, as Christ said, we as Christians should be the light of the world. I want to be an example of shining optimism, fully believing in the hope of everlasting life beyond this world…but lately, I’ve been this guy.
For those who don’t know, Deuteronomy is the 5th Book of the Bible penned by Moses as God’s Word. Aside from the recap of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and their blunder that resulted in most of a generation perishing in the wilderness, Deuteronomy is essentially a book of laws, of traditions, of warnings, of blessings and curses. It’s the ultimate book of “cause and effect.” The answer to the question of, “WHY ARE THINGS SO BAD!?”
Plainly put…We have to be. To be clear, I’m not talking about Christians who are constantly giving their unsolicited opinion about every little thing. I’m talking about Christians who politely refrain from worldly lifestyles or indulging in sinful behavior. I get deep with this one. So brace yourselves.
“You’re too judgmental! Jesus Christ was open and accepting of everyone! I’ve talked to other Christians and they’re cool with everyone’s lifestyle! DON’T JUDGE ME!”
How many times have you heard this when it comes to some behavior or activity that you know goes against Bible principles? Like the Hook-Up Culture, Sex Before Marriage, Getting Drunk, High, or even celebrating and promoting Pride Month.
Very often, Christians and non-Christians alike will use Christ’s own words against you. At Matthew Chapter 7 Jesus said: “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
Strong words from our Lord and Savior. However, at John 7:24, Jesus also says, “24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with righteous judgment.”…Sounds like he’s telling us to judge here? Sounds contradicting. But is it?
I think it’s about time we elaborated on the various meanings of “judge” as well as addressing this notion of, “Well, I talked to other Christians, and they’re cool with it!”
Forgive me if this sounds condescending, but consider this: A 1st Grader who knows 2+2=4, knows math. But so does a 10th grader who knows how to solve Quadratic Equations. Thus, both can claim they do really know math…however one’s a bit more advanced in his knowledge than the other.
I know… the Devil is Working Hard To Make It Seem Like You Don’t Exist. When you see what’s going on in the world, and you know you’re no part of it, it does feel rather hopeless, as it did last year, when you see mass groups of people rising up in common anger, indignation, but ultimately a purpose. A purpose that may be far different from your own.
We as Christians know that you can’t put your faith in human beings. All these calls for “justice” and “equality” are futile notions because we know the justice and equality they’re talking about isn’t universal. Meaning, it isn’t justice and equality for everyone, just them and their ilk, and their feelings.
With Black Lives Matter particularly, even after the Chauvin Verdict, we already see them and SJWs moving the goal post. They got their desired verdict but it’s not enough. It’ll never be enough. Let me repeat that. It WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH.
During my 20s, I obsessed over two main goals. One was to lose weight after getting up to 378lbs. I succeeded in getting down to 220. The other was to become a published author, and not just “any” published author. I wanted to be the best. The kind future generations had to write reports about in school.
Just recently, a friend asked me why I had given up on that goal. It’s difficult to explain without sounding like I’ve straight-up failed. It’s understandable to assume I was using the Bible as an excuse, as if to say I couldn’t hack it in the world of publishing. Because he asked a good question.
“What does reading the Bible have to do with you not succeeding as an author? It’s not like you’re doing drugs or committing a crime. Are you saying God doesn’t approve of authors or success?”
He didn’t ask those questions to offend me. I could tell he was genuinely seeking to understand. Truth is, I haven’t given up on that goal. The difference between 34-year-old Rock and 24-year-old Rock is that it’s no longer the priority. It’s still high up there. But once upon a time, nothing else mattered more.
First off, you have to understand that being a Christian is voluntary. Reading the Bible and believing in Christ’s teachings is something we “choose” to do. So as I begin, I’d like you to keep these critical scriptures in mind.
In Matthew 19:16-23. A rich young man asks Jesus, “What must I do to have eternal life?” Since he was a boy, the young man has kept the commandments. He didn’t steal. He didn’t commit murder. He honored his mother and father. So what commandment must he do to have eternal life?
In verse 21, Jesus answered, “Sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me.”
“If you feel like you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.”…If you agree with this statement, step one is recognizing that there are people who are smarter than you. Can you do that?
It’s funny…because I’ve been called arrogant. I’ve been called egotistical and too full of myself. But unlike the people who called me those things, I actively seek out people who I perceive to be better than me, smarter than me. I’m not offended or discouraged by them. They inspire me. Instead of belittling and diminishing them so they can feel like they’re down at my level and we’re equals, I’m inspired to better myself so I can rise up to theirs.
If you’re a high school basketball player and you want to improve, you don’t go scrimmage with a bunch of novice 5th graders. No! You seek out the best players on the block who are all college material. Being on the court with “superior” athletes, forces you to up your game if you want to compete.
That’s what reading the Bible and talking to other Bible scholars has done for me.
If you Google “Smartest Person in the World,” you’ll see pictures with the likes of Marie Curie, Voltaire, da Vinci, and Einstein. It’s interesting…on this list of “Top 40 Smartest People of All Time”…you won’t find names like Solomon, Hezekiah, Samuel, or Isaiah.
In 1st Kings 3:12, God himself said, “Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.”
…none like you has been before you and non like you shall arise after you…God said that about King Solomon. Therefore, it is my opinion, that Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. But still…what is wisdom? There’s a school of thought that “wisdom is the best application of knowledge to attain one’s goal.”
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Most Holy One is understanding.”
I had to start with this one because I know it contradicts the current mainstream thought when it comes to religion. But that’s because I believe people often misconstrue tolerance…with condoning. Hate the sin…not the sinner.
The Top 10 Ways the Bible Changed My Life: 1. The Bible Actually Made Me More Tolerant
In reading the Bible in its entirety, not just pieces, you’re able to see the big picture. You see what happened, what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what’s going to happen. And because I believe with conviction, I’m able to tolerate different points of view with the lens of a spectator, the lens of a Witness…Part of the world, yet taking no part in the world.
In reading the Bible you come to understand that nothing happens by accident. God creates the good days and the bad days. There’s logic and reason, cause and effect. If you believe and trust in God, an almighty entity that created human existence and could wipe us all out in an instant, do you really think he needs you fight his battles for him?
Or are you just using his name to fight your own personal battle? Allow me to illustrate.
This is a common question I get when it comes to reading the entire Bible. I know a lot of people have read bits and pieces. Some people have specific scriptures memorized. John 3:16 is a popular one. But actually sitting down and reading the Bible cover to cover…to be honest, when I first did it, I never thought of it was some big accomplishment.
At First, I Hated Religion
Just to give you a little background about who I am. I’m a black 34-year-old Christian Conservative born and raised here in the States. I’ve never been to any Christian College or Theocratic School.
From the age of 12-17, I was raised in a religion that I found extremely oppressive, Jehovah’s Witness. That’s not to knock the religion. All Witnesses aren’t the same, just like all Catholics or Baptist aren’t the same. You’ll never find a nicer group of people…but my parents were new to the religion. And while they may very well have been doing their best, it took a toll. Everything I loved about my childhood was taken away when they joined that religion (like holidays and martial arts). And if I didn’t believe the way they believed, I was hit with guilt trips. They used the False Dilemma fallacy where, if you didn’t believe like a Jehovah’s Witness, then you were wrong and against God. Continue Reading