We’ve all heard the name, but I’m going to go deeper. The story of Jezebel is about a nation that’s lost its fear of God. It’s about those who think they can live without him. And it’s about the consequences that may not come over night, but make no mistake, it’s coming.
Allow me to begin by talking about the notion of “God fearing.” When I was a kid, I used to hear that all the time but I barely understood it. What kind of “loving” God wants us to fear him?
Well…consider every relationship you’ve ever been in. Consider why people lie when asked about an uncomfortable truth. I believe most people lie because they are afraid. They have a “fear” of hurting the ones they love and care about. Some are afraid of losing the relationships they have. Some are afraid of losing out on the benefits and opportunities of being associated with a person or organization.
That fear…I understand it. Because my fear of God is the fear of being abandoned by him.
Here’s some questions for you. Does God forgive Satan? Does Jesus Christ love Satan, just as he commanded us to love our enemies? These questions came to mind after a live debate I had with a woman at my gym.
The above were my immediate thoughts following a debate I had with an elderly woman (late 60s) at my gym. It wasn’t planned, but we struck it up and sat in the lobby to hash it out. I didn’t know much about her past prior to this conversation other than she claimed to be Christian. But she’s cool, a gym regular and past a certain age, so I’ve been able to have random chats with her without worrying about “making her feel uncomfortable”.
It began with her inquiring about my being a bachelor (a common topic of fascination). I gave her some details and she said, “Rock. Instead of looking for a wife, maybe you should look for a friend first? Just someone to get along with.”
I smiled and explained, “Yes ma’am. That’s the plan. When I say I’m looking for a wife, that’s just the end goal. It’s really my way of saying that I’m not part of today’s hook-up culture. A lot of my peers do want to get married, but first, they want to get laid. Whereas with me, marriage comes before sex.”
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!
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.
Allow me to begin by saying, as a Christian, I believe the Gospels should be taught with love and kindness. Not guilt, ridicule, or a confrontation.
What prompted me to write this essay is to conclude an internal conflict regarding faith. A new challenger has emerged. An Atheist. During a recent debate (argument) on my boss’s radio show, she challenged me to learn more about the views of Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens in order to understand why Atheists don’t believe in God.
She said, “I’ll read something of the Bible that you suggest, if you check out a video by one of these Atheists.”
My boss egged her on and encouraged me to accept the challenge. The thing is…while she openly admitted that she knew very little about the Bible or what it meant to be a Christian, I actually have been through my Atheist Phase. I already knew a lot about Atheism. Allow me to explain…
“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.”
This year, I watched deeply disturbing documentaries about Jeffery Epstein and R. Kelly. The thing I found that was very similar between their victims, the survivors…was how vulnerable they were. But what does that mean? To be vulnerable?
When I heard the victims speak…it hurt my heart. Not just because of what happened to them, but how it happened. Ladies and Gents, I’m a staunch believer of accountability, that we’re all responsible for what happens to us in our lives and how we handle it. But these victims were all underage; seventeen and as young as twelve. I believe the predators were able to prey on them because of things these victims did not know.
By some accounts, the victims (now grown adults) kept saying how they knew what they were doing was wrong…but they were too afraid to stop or leave out of fear. They were afraid of death, of getting hurt, of having their careers or futures ruined. And yet…they kept coming back. They stayed. Some even returned with “friends” who ended up being subjected to the same thing. This is puzzling.
Honestly. I’m not trying to blame the victim, but to understand them. And the answer that keeps coming back was that they simply did not know what to do. Bear with me.
Think back to slavery…not just slavery in America, but Rome or even the serfs working the fields during the Middle Ages. Of those serfs and slaves, how many do you think KNEW they didn’t have to be a slave or a serf? At any point they could have fought for their freedom or fled.
Yes, you could say that they would have been captured and killed, but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that they still had a choice.
Do this or die, is still a choice. A horrible choice. But a choice, nonetheless.
This one is for those who are afraid of ending up alone…so much so that they’d stay in situations where they’re abused and taken advantage of just to avoid that loneliness. This is for those who feel like they have no place in this world.
Some of us are blessed to have a tight-knit circle of friends. Some of us have one or two buddies they can always depend on. Some of us have boyfriends, girlfriends, wives or husbands we can talk to. Those who uplift us and encourage us when we’re down, who celebrate us in our triumphs.
What about the rest of us?
I took an Enneagram Personality test last year in which I was labeled a Type 3, work-oriented, driven, and thrived on results. Another trait associated with “3” is that WE NEED validation. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? I’ve heard it said many times that anyone who’s constantly seeking validation is “sad, pathetic and weak.”
Truth is, I really do seek validation. And yet, I wouldn’t describe myself as sad, pathetic, and weak. I used to…back when I sought validation from “everyone.” Back then, I was seeking to impress not just family members, but also my peers, my colleagues, co-workers, friends, millions of potential fans as an author, and of course potential love interests.
And I confess…when I didn’t get that validation, it would depress me deeply…
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.