Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

GOG AND MAGOG IN EZEKIEL 38-39

Introduction

The Gog and Magog prophecies are found in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The nation Gog will form the largest army ever assembled to wage war against Israel with the intent of wiping them off the face of the earth. The war will not primarily be between Gog and Israel but it will be between Gog and God. The culmination of the ultimate battle along with the outcome is all centered on God’s absolute control of all the events of the great battle. The ultimate question to be answered is when the great battle will take place.

Historical-Cultural Context

Audience

After the death of King David his son Solomon became the king. The nation of Israel became a divided kingdom after the death of Solomon. The kingdom is divided between north and south. The northern kingdom is known as Israel and the southern kingdom is known as Judah. “The divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah had years of decline in every area of their national life. Moral and spiritual decadence reached its (climax) in the Northern Kingdom under the (kings) of Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 17:1-22:40).”[1]

God judged the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. at the hands of the Assyrians. There is still hope for the Southern Kingdom under the new king of Josiah. Before Josiah became king of the Southern Kingdom, the moral & spiritual corruption would exceed the Northern Kingdom. Josiah set in motion a spiritual renewal by eradicating paganism and idolatry, by returning the people to worshiping God and to restore the spiritual and moral life of the nation (2 Kings 23:1-30).[2] Finally, in 597 B.C. God’s judgment came upon the Southern Kingdom. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar led the Israelites out of their country. Among the captives is Ezekiel (2 Kings 24:14-17).[3]

The Israelites during the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy has wondered so far away from God that they worshiped the gods of the cultures around them more than their own God. This in turn led to God’s judgment for their sin. Hundreds of years prior to Ezekiel’s prophecy God told the Israelites to eradicate all of the Canaanites that they came in contact with which they failed to do (Joshua 6:15-21). It is very important for the Israelites to be separate from the rest of the world and to maintain a holy lifestyle that God had setup. Deuteronomy 7:1-6 is such a great outline for the history of Israel:

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire. ‘For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.’”

Author

“Ezekiel is a Zadokite priest of the Jerusalem temple, who was swept up in the deportation of leading citizens, including the young king Jehoiachin, to a settlement in Babylonia, after Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of the rebellious vassal state of Judah in 597 B.C.”[4] Ezekiel who is now in Babylonia is called by God to be a prophet to the exiled Israelites. Not only are the Israelites exiled but they have been moved into an unknown land far removed from their culturally and religious center.

Ezekiel is a very gifted and highly intelligent prophet. He has a priestly background that stresses the holiness and the echoing of priestly moral and cultic traditions. Ezekiel is a very well cultured prophet who was use to interacting with the upper class. The early years of his ministry is spent associating with the upper class. Because of his association with the upper class he is well schooled in silver smelting, shipbuilding, looking back at the paradise of the Promised Land, and his reference to Egypt as the chaos monster. His extensive use of verbal communication sometimes is lost on the audience. The audience is so lost that they asked Ezekiel to speak plainly.[5]

Ezekiel’s message is twofold, one about the judgment of God, and two about the salvation that God offered. The message about the judgment of God is expressed to the Israelites before the exile. Once the Israelites were exiled the message changed from one of judgment to one of salvation. The judgment is administered by the power and might of the Babylonian Empire. The exile of the Israelites challenged the belief that God is the one who is in ultimate control of all human events. At the time of the exile it seemed to the Israelites that Babylon is in control of history and not God. Human history for the Israelites is better understood if one “seriously take(s) into account the context of Israel, which witnessed the presence of the nations’ competing religions. The victory of a people were the victories of their god (or gods).Thus to Ezekiel the exile was not a political but a theological problem.”[6]

Genre and Structure of Ezekiel

The genre of Ezekiel is one of prophetic in nature. “The oracles in the book of Ezekiel are divided naturally on the basis of time and subject matter into four general parts: Ezekiel’s call to prophetic service (1:1-3:27); pronouncements of doom upon Israel/Judah (4:1-24:27); pronouncements of doom upon the nations (25:1-32:32); pronouncements of hope for Israel/Judah (33:1-48:35).”[7] The three divisions show a logical development by the author of the book. The three sections together form a structural and thematic unity.

Chapters 1-3 start out with the call of Ezekiel and a display of the glory of God. Chapters 4-7 are a display of God’s glory and without the display the judgment of God would be meaningless. Chapter 8-11 shows how Israel’s sin is the cause of God’s glory being removed from their presence and can only be restored through divine judgment. Chapters 12-19 is the announcement of God’s coming judgment. Chapters 20-24 Ezekiel prepares Israel for the discipline that God is going to enact. Chapters 1-24 all take place in the Promised Land before the Israelites are exiled into Babylon. Chapters 25-32 is a condemnation to the nations around Judah/Israel who enjoyed to see the destruction of Israel. God is also going to set up a time when those nations will also be judged for their sins. Chapters 33-39 is a series of message about the fall of Jerusalem and messages about the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land.[8] The book ends with chapters 40-48 and the return of God’s glory to the temple and to the Promised Land.

The oracles of Ezekiel 38 and 39 are like an eschatological literary cartoon strip. “The images portrayed become increasingly caricatured, reaching a climax in a bizarre picture of predatory birds and wild animals seated around a table gorging themselves on human flesh (39:17-20).”[9] As a person reads the oracles the divisions of the oracles become really clear. “While each of the divisions or sub-units has an identity and a character of its own, they are all thoroughly integrated to create a sequence of events whose total impact is much greater than the sum of its parts.”[10]

Where the oracle of Gog of Magog lies in the book of Ezekiel is important. In Ezekiel 1-24 there is the pronouncement of judgment for the sins that Israel has committed against God. Next is Ezekiel 25-32 that center around the judgment of the nations who surround Israel and delight in Israel’s downfall. “Then Ezekiel 33 records a turning point in the fortunes of God’s people when the news of Jerusalem’s fall came to the prophet. Now God’s wrath has been satisfied and there is a prospect of a new beginning. That new beginning is outlined in terms of a restoration of the leadership of the people (the shepherds, ch. 24), the land itself (ch. 35-36), and the people who indwell the land (ch. 36-37).”[11]

The oracles of Gog in Ezekiel chapters 38-39 is about the fate of Israel once they have been restored and returned to the Promised Land. “The purpose of the oracle against Gog becomes clear in 39:21-29; it is intended as a word of reassurance to Israel that the new order of existence promised in chapters 34-37 is not reversible. God will never again turn his face away from his people. Though trials of all kinds, even the worst imaginable kind, may and will come, they will do so only under God’s good and sovereign hand.”[12]

Exegetical Analysis

Exegesis of Ezekiel 38

Gog from the land of Magog, is one of the greatest enemies of the Israelites. The enemy appears at the end of the Israelite historical process and has been bewildering scholars for centuries. Ezekiel is singling out an unrepentant nation whom God will place his judgment upon.[13] Ezekiel 38 is divided into five sections. Verse 2-9 is about the gathering of a giant army that will do battle against the Israelites. Verse 10-13 is about an explanation for the motives of Gog. Verse 14-16 is the great army of Gog that attacks the Israelites. Verse 17-22 is God’s judgment upon Gog. Verse 23 is the conclusion of the great battle between Gog and the Israelites.

In verse 2 the name Gog is derived from the Greek name of Gyges a king of Lydia in Asia Minor. The name of Magog came from Genesis 10:2 where Magog is the second son of Japheth.[14] Japheth is the son of Noah. Gog is also a name for an “unidentified ruler whose name is from a Sumerian loan word gug, which means ‘darkness’”[15] The oracle of Gog has been applied to more current events than any other passage in the Old Testament. The church father Ambrose referred to God as the Goths in the late fourth century. Gog of the seventh century became the Arabs. Then in the thirteenth century Gog became the Mongols. By the seventeenth century Gog is the Roman emperor, the Pope, or the Turks. The nineteenth century the people of Gog became the Russians. Finally with the rise in Communism and the large nation of China, Gog has been purported to be the large army of China. It seems throughout world history Gog has become whatever movement or country is threating world peace.[16]

The best interpretation for Gog is a symbol for Babylon. Since Ezekiel is writing to an audience who has been taken over by the great power. The interpretation is also extended as an eschatological one as well. Babylon is being a representation of the world powers who are against God in the end times. Ezekiel is concerned about the destruction of Babylon because without its destruction then the messianic restoration of Israel cannot happen. “If Gog is a symbol of the forces of Antichrist foreseen by Ezekiel. If the word Gog is from the Sumerian gug, that would be additional support for treating him as a symbol of ‘the prince of this world’ (John 12:31), an appropriate designation that fits the character of the ruler of end-time Babylon.”[17]

In verses 10-16 Gog has gathered all of his forces from the far corners of the world and is heading to Israel to do battle. The battle will be the biggest battle of all times. Gog and his army are going to descend on a nation living in peace. The Israelites are living as a restored nation under the covenant relationship that they have with God. God is in absolute control of the great army that Gog has put together to do battle against the Israelites. “Once the unholy alliance has been prepared by God, he will summon them against his restored people at a time of his own choosing.”[18]  Even though Gog has a massive army to attack Israel it did not matter. An attack against God’s chosen nation Israel is an attack against God himself. “Gog has fundamentally misread the match-up. It is not a matter, as he supposes, of his vast and well-equipped army ranged against a defenseless nation. The relationship between God, his people, and the land has been restored and such an assault will not go unchallenged.”[19] In this great battle of all times God is allowing Gog to come against Israel for one reason only and that is to show the world his greatness and holiness. Not only will God show his holiness but the battle will show the world that God is in full control of all of history through his sovereignty.

Verses 17-23 is the ending of the great battle. Gog’s military destination is to the land of Israel. Gog will be the recipient of God’s judgment that will cause cataclysmic destruction against the people of Gog both in the battle and in Gog’s homeland. The only victims of this great battle are Gog and his forces. God used the forces of nature through earthquakes, plagues, torrential rains, hailstones, fire and self-destruction to bring about the judgment upon Gog and his army.[20] “So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:23). The purpose of the great destruction by nature is to show the glory of God and his judgment upon the nations who want to destroy the Israelites.

Exegesis of Ezekiel 39

The battle that begins in Ezekiel 38 is now drawn to its conclusion in Ezekiel 39. Verses 1-8 is the total destruction of Gog. Verses 9-10 is about the spoilage from the great battle. Verses 11-16 Gog is given a place for Israel to bury the dead. Verses 17-20 are instructions for the beasts of the earth to devour the dead bodies of Gog. Verses 21-29 is the return of the glory of God to a fully restored Israelite nation.

Verses 1-8 is how God is going to destroy Gog. God did totally disarm the army of Gog. The disarmed Gog never fought against the Israelites. Instead God destroyed the army of Gog and spread the bodies all over the mountains and fields of the land of Israel. No nation would ever come against Israel again. Not only did God destroy the army of Gog in the land of Israel but he destroyed the homeland of Gog being Magog. “God would use Gog’s defeat as a demonstration to the nations that he, the Holy One of Israel, is the only true God. He would not permit his holy name to be profaned again through the conquest and dispersion of Israel. Israel in turn would make the Lord’s name holy in her midst.[21]

In this great battle of all battles Israel did not show up until verses 9-20 when the battle was over. Israel is now showing up to take part to plunder the nation that came to plunder them. There is so much plunder collected that the wood is used as fuel for the Israelites for seven years (verse 9). Following the collection of the plunder the beasts of the earth come to devour the dead and leave the clean bones. It took seven months to bury the bones of the dead. “The dominant concern of the burial of the remains is the cleanness of the land. The decontamination would be a fitting and necessary corollary to God’s triumph and so bring credit to its executors. It underscores from a cultic perspective the vindication of Yahweh.”[22]

Verses 17-20 is about Gog and his infamous hordes that have been slain and the Land is full of the dead bodies. The Promised Land now needs to be made holy again. The land is purified, through the grossest of defilements. Not only were the invaders buried but the bodies and blood became a feast for the birds and the beasts. The Temple is once again prepared for the return of God’s glory. The world was just turned upside down by the great battle.[23]

After Israel repents of their sin and experience the discipline of God for their sin then the Israelites could be restored to the Promised Land. Verses 21-29 are about the full restoration of Israel to the Promised Land. In order for Israel to be restored to the Promised Land there are two conditions that Israel must be fulfill and are found in Deuteronomy 30:2. “(1) They must return to the Lord. (2) They must give heed to his voice with all their heart and soul.”[24]

Once Israel is restored to the Promised Land God would give both promises and blessings and these can also be found in Deuteronomy 30:3-6. “(1) The Lord will restore their fortunes (v. 3). (2) He will have compassion on them (v. 3). He will gather them again from all the peoples where he had scattered them (v.3). (4) He will bring them into the land (v. 5). (5) They shall possess the land (v. 5). (6) He will prosper them (v. 5). (7) He will multiply them (v. 5). (8) He will circumcise their hearts so that they will love him (v. 6).”[25]

Fulfillment of Ezekiel in Revelations

The biggest question about the great battle between God and Gog, is when the battle will take place. There have been three possible times for the battle, pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, and post-tribulation. The proponents that are for the pre-tribulation believe that Israel’s secure dwelling that is mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39 could only occur at the beginning of the Tribulation. The complete restoration of Israel in Ezekiel is messianic and occurring at the end times. In Ezekiel 39:7, 22 God states his name will no longer be profaned which could not have occurred before the Tribulation. The fact that throughout Ezekiel 38-39 God states that the nations will know my name and recognize his sovereignty would fit best after the second coming then before the Tribulation. As a person has studied this position it is easy to come to the conclusion that this would not be a good fit for the events of Ezekiel 38-39.[26]

The proponents of the mid-tribulation argue that Gog’s invasion is an extension of the invasion from the north mentioned in Daniel 11:40-41. The events of Daniel 11:40-41 is the breaking of the Antichrist’s covenant with Israel in the middle of the Tribulation. Thus Israel is living in the Promised Land with a false security of relative peace through the covenant that was made with the Antichrist. In turn when Gog invades and attempts to destroy the Israelites it would cause them to turn to God. The turning to God and knowing God is a fulfillment of a prophecy made in Revelation that many will be saved during the time of the Tribulation. There have been six observations on whether the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39 is mid-tribulation or not. (1) There is no specific biblical text that matches Gog with the king of the north found in Daniel 11:40-41. (2) The use of false security as a concept would not match up with the whole purpose of the Tribulation. (3) The fact that Israel purifies the Promised Land by burning the weapons and burying the dead would seem impossible during the time that God was at the height of his final judgment. (4) Ezekiel 38:8, 16 declares that Israel has been restored from the sword into messianic blessing; yet this would not match up with the tribulation period. (5) There is no doubt in reading Ezekiel 38-39 that God is the one who destroys and not the Antichrist. (6) The fact that the Lord’s name will no longer be profaned again does not fit with the mid-tribulation view. Again based upon the Biblical evidence it would be unlikely that the events of Ezekiel 38-39 occur during the mid-tribulation time period.[27]

The proponents of the post-tribulation argue that Gog is the army that have been described in Zechariah 12 and 14:1-14 and have come to do battle against the Messiah. Also the battle would occur at the end of the Tribulation, prior to the judgment that is described in Matthew 25, and prior to the Millennium. The majority of scholars that hold this view believe that the battle will occur after the Millennium that is described in Revelation 20:7-10. The strong argument for this position is the explicit reference to Gog and Magog in Revelation 20:8. This would sure fit Ezekiel 38-39 very well. The Millennium would definitely provide the time for Israel to live in peace, have a safe dwelling place, and have time to burn the weapons and bury the dead. There have also been three observations in regards to this view as being the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. (1) The Gog of Ezekiel 38-39 is an assimilation of armies from the four points of the earth verses the army that is assembled in Revelation from the four corners of the earth. The assimilation of the armies is very similar in both books. (2) It is maintained that Ezekiel says nothing of Jerusalem whereas John states that the nations encompassed the beloved city. It should be noted that Ezekiel mentions that Gog will attack the mountains of Israel which would most likely include Jerusalem. (3) It is believed that the burning of the weapons and burying of the bodies would fit with the Millennium time period.[28]

It would seem then that the events of Ezekiel 38-39 are a fulfillment of Revelation 19:17-21 and 20:7-10. The connection between the events of Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 19:17-21 and 20:7-10 lies on the singular concept of God’s defeat of the great attempt of the Evil One to once again possess the land of Israel. The Evil One or Satan is the last and greatest enemy of Israel. John in Revelation only summarizes what is stated in Ezekiel. John mentions Gog in Revelation 20 so that the reader would make the connection between Satan of Revelation and Gog in Ezekiel 38-39. Satan’s whole premise is to possess the land of Israel in order to nullify God’s promise. However, God in both Ezekiel and Revelation has fully demonstrated himself as the immutable God who faithfully protects Israel in accord with his word.[29]

Conclusion

The great battle of Gog from Magog against the Israelites takes place post-tribulation. Through this great battle the glory of God will be shown to all nations that he is in control of all things past, present, and future. The name Gog being synonymous with the name of Satan as revealed in the book of Revelation will not win the battle. After the battle God’s glory will once again return to the Promised Land and return to the Temple.

Bibliography

Alexander, Ralph H. Isaiah-Ezekiel. Volume 6. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Edited by Frank E Gaebelein. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1986.

Allen, Leslie C. Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. 29. Ezekiel 20-48. Dallas, Tex.: Word Books, 1990.

Block, Daniel Isaac. Ezekiel 1-24. Edited by Robert L Hubbard Jr. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997.

Block, Daniel Isaac. Ezekiel 25-48. Edited by Robert L Hubbard Jr. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998.

Block, Daniel I. “Gog in Prophetic Tradition: A New Look at Ezekiel XXXVIII 17.” Vetus Testamentum 42, no. 2 (1992): 154–172.

Cooper, Lamar Eugene. The New American Commentary. Vol. 17. Ezekiel. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994.

Delitzsch, Franz, and Carl Friedrich Keil. Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament. Vol. 9. Ezekiel and Daniel. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1996.

Duguid, Iain M. The NIV Application Commentary: Ezekiel. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999. Kindle.

Luc, Alex. “A Theology of Ezekiel: God’s Name and Israel’s History.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 26, no. 2 (June 1983): 137–143.

Railton, Nicholas M. “Gog and Magog: The History of a Symbol.” Evangelical Quarterly 75, no. 1 (January 2003): 23–43.

Tanner, J. Paul. “Rethinking Ezekiel’s Invasion by Gog.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 39 (1996): 29–46.

[1] Lamar Eugene Cooper, The New American Commentary: Ezekiel, vol. 17, The New American commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 325, Kindle.

[2] Ibid., 325.

[3] Ibid., 355.

[4] Leslie C Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, vol. 29, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas, TX.: Word Books, 1990), xx.

[5] Ibid., xx-xxi.

[6] Alex Luc, “A Theology of Ezekiel: God’s Name and Israel’s History,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 26, no. 2 (June 1983): 137-143.

[7] Daniel Isaac Block, Ezekiel 1-24, ed. Robert L Hubbard Jr,, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997), 17.

[8] Ralph H. Alexander, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Volume 6 Isaiah-Ezekiel, ed. Frank E Gaebelein, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), 744.

[9] Daniel I. Block, “Gog in Prophetic Tradition: A New Look at Ezekiel XXXVIII 17,” Vetus Testamentum 42, no. 2 (1992): 154-172.

[10] Ibid., 156.

[11] Iain M. Duguid, The NIV Application Commentary: Ezekiel, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999)., 411, Kindle.

[12] Ibid., 411.

[13] Nicholas M. Railton, “Gog and Magog: The History of a Symbol,” Evangelical Quarterly 75, no. 1 (January 2003): 23-43.

[14] Daniel Isaac Block, Ezekiel 25-48, ed. Robert L Hubbard Jr, New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997), 433.

[15] Cooper, 8953.

[16] Duguid, 408.

[17] Cooper, 8986.

[18] Duguid, 404.

[19] Ibid., 406.

[20] Allen, 207.

[21] Alexander, 935.

[22] Allen, 208.

[23] Robert Alter and Frank Kermode, eds., The Literary Guide to the Bible (Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1987), 203.

[24] J. Paul Tanner, “Rethinking Ezekiel’s Invasion by Gog,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 39 (1996): 29-46.

[25] Ibid., 37.

[26] Alexander, 938-939.

[27] Ibid., 939.

[28] Ibid., 939-940.

[29] Ibid., 940.

Advertisements

March 9, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, blogging, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, Ezekiel, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, Old Testament, Religon, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Suffering: Job 1.1-20

 

The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith, and has been in every generation. John Stott

Suffering is a Reality

  • We live in a world filled with natural evils…Diseases, Disasters, Death
  •  We live in a world filled with moral evils…
  • All people experience suffering…this includes Christians. Satan intends every type of suffering to sabotage us…God intends every type of suffering to sanctify us.

Why should we study suffering?

  • We want to examine our hearts! Three questions to ask…Have I been saved? Am I prepared to suffer? (Phil. 4.10-13) Am I prepared to die? (Phil. 1.21)
  • We want to equip one another! To stand firm on the Word (Phil. 1.27-30). To spread the gospel in the world (Acts 20-22-24).
  • We want to embrace suffering in our lives, our families and our churches! Experience the sufficiency of Christ in our weakness (2 Cor. 7-10). To share sufferings of Christ on this earth (Col. 1.24). To show supremacy of Christ to all generations and nations (Matt. 24.9-14).

The Sovereignity of God in Suffering (Job 1.20-22)

  • Job’s Suffering: Undeserved (Job 1.1,8); Unexpected (Job 1.13-17); Unimaginable (Job 1.18-19); Always Painful (Job 2.7-8, 2.12, 3.24-25).
  • God’s Sovereignity is over all things both seen and unseen (Job 1.6-21).
  • Our Suffering and God’s Sovereignity: God’s Sovereign design for our lives while on this earth includes suffering (Job 1.21). The sovereignity of God is the foundation of praise in the middle of pain (Job 1.20). His sovereignity assures us that God is in control. At every moment of our suffering God is with us! At every moment of our suffering God is for us! His sovereignity reminds us that Satan has been conquered. His sovereignity reminds us that one day our suffering will be complete.
  • Ultimately, our pain on earth can rightly be understood only from the sovereign perspective of heaven.

Pastor Rickey Le’Mons

May 20, 2012 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, family, God, Jesus, Life, marriage, New Testament, Prayer, relationship, Religon, Suffering, Theology, Uncategorized, writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truth

What is truth? Is truth defined by you? Is truth defined by the Bible? Is truth defined by something greater than yourself? How would you define truth? Leave a comment to the answer of one or all of the questions.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, blogging, Christian, Christianity, conservative, culture, family, liberal, Life, marriage, politics, relationship, socialism, Theology, writing | Leave a comment

Unemployment

A gentlemen was wondering why he was unemployed one day. He went to sleep and woke up on a bed made in Mexico. The alarm that woke him up was made in Japan. After he took a shower and put on the clothes that where made in Indonesia the gentleman went to his kitchen to get some breakfast. He promptly cooked an egg in a fry pan from China and his toast was cooked in a toaster also made in China. He sat down in his chair that was made in Brazil to look on the Internet for a job. The computer that was been used came from Taiwan. Yet all the while he was wondering how he was going to find a job.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | culture, Democrat, liberal, politics, Republican, Uncategorized, unemployment, writing | | Leave a comment

Helping the Homeless

A question arose within a group of my friends today. And that question is “should we or should we not help the homeless.” There where several responses to this question. One response that came about was to buy food for the individual instead of giving them money for the simple fact that you can control what happens to your money. In response to this a member of the group said that he was in a McDonald’s in NYC and saw a Christian man buy a homeless person a meal and once the Christian man left the McDonald’s the homeless person took the meal up to the counter and said that there was something wrong with the meal and received the money back for the meal and left the McDonald’s.

Another person in the group saw a person on the side of the street with a sign that said “need money for beer.” He had a bag of pretzals and gave him the bag of pretzals. He felt that what goes better with beer than a bag of pretzals.

A couple in the group went to Baltimore on a trip. While there they did some sight seeing and came across a homeless person and gave the person a couple of bucks. Later that evening they where having a nice dinner out and the so called homeless person came in and had dinner themselves. However, this so called homeless person had more expensive clothes on and had a nicer dinner then the couple who gave him a couple bucks earlier in the day.

In my experience living in a big city and working downtown you see the same homeless people on the same street corner every day. I have even given them a buck or two to have them come back to me a couple blocks from where I gave them a buck and ask for another one.

I think the best thing for one to do is to donate either time or money to rescue type missions that help the homeless. That way you know where your money is going and you know that the money is being put to good use.

Does anybody else have any good thoughts that they would like to share?

March 8, 2009 Posted by | blogging, Christian, Christianity, conservative, culture, Democrat, family, liberal, politics, relationship, Republican, socialism, Uncategorized, welfare, writing | Leave a comment

Taxes – Democrats Do Not Pay Unless Caught

THE DEMO-GOGUES

Another Obamaphile fails to pay taxes: “As you can well imagine, I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns. I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them.” –Tom Daschle in a letter to Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) ++ “I disclosed this information to the committee voluntarily and paid the taxes and any interest owed promptly. My mistakes were unintentional.” –Daschle on Daschle ++ But back then…: “Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.” –then-Sen. Tom Daschle on 7 May 1998

Throwing in the towel: “[I]f 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that this work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction. Right now, I am not that leader, and will not be a distraction.” –former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrawing his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services

Excuses: “Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake and this decision cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country.” –President Barack Obama

World’s smallest violin: “And when [Tom Daschle] ended up losing an election, he didn’t cash in and leave. He lost an election ending his public career. His net worth was less than a million dollars at that point. And here he went out in the private sector, and now he’s found himself having made a mistake and admitted to it. He took the steps necessary to start paying the taxes, make sure they’re paid. Now, that’s the right thing to do. I believe Tom Daschle’s one of the most honest people I’ve ever known or worked with in public life.” –Sen. Dick Durbin D-IL

Why should we just let Tom Daschle off with out penaltiy. If I did not pay my taxes like Mr. Daschle I would end up in jail or  a very stiff fine to say the least.

February 5, 2009 Posted by | conservative, culture, Democrat, liberal, Republican | 1 Comment

THE NEXT SURVIVOR SERIES

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes. There is no fast food. Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of ‘pretend’ bills with not enough money. In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time–no emailing. Each man must also Take each child to a doctor’s appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment. He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care. He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times. The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn himself with jewelery, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed. During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting. They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child’s birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor’s name. Also the child’s weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child’s favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if…he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment’s notice. If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right to be called Mother!

September 29, 2008 Posted by | culture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love that Lasts: Introduction

“How many of you want to fall in love one day?” I ask college students when I teach their course on marital communication. They laugh and all raise their hands.

“How many of you want to marry and stay married to that person for the rest of your life?” Again, every hand shoots up.

“On a piece of paper, I want you to write your personal definition of romantic love. Your definition should be detailed enough to give you the criteria that will position you to commit to one person for a lifetime.”

You should see the students’ response to this assignment. They look like deer caught in headlights. Many are clueless about what to write. Some begin to sneak glances at what their classmates are writing, which isn’t much. Not one person fills the page; some never even start.

Maybe you can relate to their hesitation. Yet if you’re in a serious dating relationship, holding a detailed definition of love is crucial. Especially as an adult, you may be so focused on the goal–marriage–that you don’t take time to thank through these concerns. However, your ideas about love lay a foundation for your marriage. For that reason–and because many Christians today have adopted secular notions in this area–it’s a good idea to reassess your core values and consider how your concept of romantic love lines up with a biblical perspective.

When it comes to love and commitment, our culture’s message is clear: Nothing lasts forever. Love–as presented films, novels, music, and celebrities’ lives–is a powerful emotion that ebbs and flows and eventually dries up.

The Scriptures take a dramatically different view. In the Song of Solomon, the bride exclaims, “Love is as strong as death” (8:6). If you’re weighing a lifetime commitment to another person, it’s this understanding of love you need to consider. But what does it involve?

I’ve been married 17 years. From that experience and my study of Scripture, I’ve made some observations about the nature of lasting marital love. With each observation I’ve added questions that may help you as you consider whether to pop–or say yes to–the question.

July 22, 2008 Posted by | Christian, culture, Life, marriage, relationship, sex | Leave a comment

Who is in charge of your life?

Everybody serves somebody. Everybody has somebody in charge of his life. I’m not sure that Bob Dylan got a lot of things right, but he was on target when he wrote the song “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

Some people choose an esteemed person to serve. It may be a professor, politician, or television personality. Problem is, look closely enough and you will see all of that person’s imperfections.

Some people serve a close relationship as their ultimate authority. “I just do what my wife wants.” Or, “Unless my son is happy, I can’t be either.” Psychologist call this codependency, when you’re so wired into another person that your life goes sideways if he gets off track.

Some people decide to serve a mission, a value, or an organization. We feed the poor, we save the trees…

Some people serve a personal agenda. I’ll get this degree, I will reach this milestone, I’ll break this record…

Most people serve themselves. Most people live by the philosophy at the end of the day. I’ll do what works for me. I’m the one in charge here.

Far truer than people are willing to admit, you choose who you serve. Your life can be different; your choice in who you serve is withing your grasp. As much as someone might love you, no one can choose for you. There are simply some crucial decisions you have to make for yourself. The ball is in your court. Joshua was right when he challenged Israel, “Choose this day whom you will serve.”

July 21, 2008 Posted by | Christian, Christianity, culture, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Biblical Perspective on How to Approach Politcs

    Conclusion, Part. 5

    THE FINAL VICTORY
The future we await is life eternal in the presence of the living God in a transformed world that again fully reflects the goodness and beauty intended by the Creator.
    We have failed miserably at faithfully fulfilling the creation mandate given to us in the Garden of Eden. We have created civilizations of great beauty and considerable justice, but they are pervasively marked with tears and injustice. Mercifully, the Creator who is the Redeemer intends, at the second coming, to remove the pervasive evil in our mixed efforts at building civilizations. God plans to take the glory of the nations into the new city (Rev. 21:26). The story that starts in a garden ends in a city with God reweaving the tangled strands that we have wrought in vain, transforming our feeble efforts into glorious cultures that sing the Creator’s praise.
    That understanding of the future shapes faithful Christian political life now in numerous ways. First, that understanding of the future, just like the biblical understanding of creation and persons, underlines the importance of the material world. It is so good that the Creator intends to restore it to wholeness.
    Second, there is clear continuity between history, the present, and the coming kingdom. To be sure, the sin that will persist until Christ’s return is evidence of the discontinuity that exists as well. We cannot create
perfect societies now. But if God plans to purge the glory of the nations of all evil and take it up into the New Jerusalem, then there is a connection between our imperfect work now to create just, beautiful civilizations and the perfection we await.
    Third, the knowledge that persons are designed for a future that far transcends the socioeconomic goods that any human government can provide this side of the coming kingdom dramatically relativizes all politics. A good life now of material abundance, justice, and freedom is important. But we are made for far more—for more than even the best human politics can ever deliver. Therefore politicians must make humble claims. They should promise only limited goods. Christians will reject political claims to offer more as idolatrous. And when faithful Christians have political power, they will only claim to offer modest, albeit significant, results. Knowing that persons are made to live forever in the presence of the living God, they know that government at its best can only offer a modest portion of what persons need to enjoy the good life.
    Fourth, because we know the whole story line, including the final chapter, we know where history is going. We know that God wants more justice, peace, and societal wholeness now because we know that wholeness will be complete at Christ’s return. And the vision of that future justice provides a powerful norm to judge the broken societies in which we live.
    Knowing where history is going and knowing the one who promises to write the final chapter, Christians have hope. To the extent that we truly believe the promise of Christ’s coming victory, the Christian story can produce powerful political movements for justice, peace, life, and freedom.
    Sometimes, of course, we will fail. Sin remains alive and powerful. Sometimes, for a generation or more, injustice, war, totalitarianism, and social evil of all kinds may advance rather than retreat. Even then, the assurance of Christ’s final victory provides hope that sustains our persistent, faithful struggle for justice even when the political tide is sweeping in the other direction.
    Knowing the Resurrected One, knowing that He will return, we also know that crusading evil can succeed only for a time. The decisive victory has already been won. Even when faithfulness involves martyrdom, even then we know who holds the future. Because He lives, we can face even the most terrifying tomorrows. Because one day the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord who will reign forever and ever.

Discipleship Journal, Issue 165, Ron Sider

Technorati Tags     ,,,,,,,,,,,,

May 11, 2008 Posted by | Christian, Christianity, conservative, culture, Democrat, Discipleship Journal, John McCain, Republican, Theology, Uncategorized, vote | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: