“Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!”
My mind understands manhood backwards. I’ve grown older thinking much of what I saw around me as “manly” was the definition of “being a man.” It isn’t necessarily.
Jehovah, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, defines the characteristics and behaviors of men and His definition is unchanged in the face of my predecessors’ or my contemporaries’ thoughts, feelings on the matter or choices.
I’ve made the mistake of thinking my salvation is primarily about me. To be sure, God’s love is for me but a deeper reason He saves is for His purposes and to bring glory to Himself.
In my myopic existence I don’t focus my attention on Jesus. I often consider my benefits and blessings, which are truly benefits and blessings and I should recognize them as such and thank God for them but His purpose goes beyond just saving me; He saves me as a testimony to His faithfulness, His grace, His love, His patience and His sovereignty. His desire is to see all people choose Him and enter into an eternal relationship with Him but in Paul’s case, specifically:
It appears that when God ordained Obadiah to pronounce His judgement against Edom He had endured all of Edom’s choices and His judgement against Edom would be complete with no mercy given them.
God starts the prophecy of Obadiah by telling us that a human coalition was formed to destroy Edom. From there, the rest of the prophecy is focused on God and His promises to actively destroy Edom until there is nothing left of the nation. He promises to destroy them five times, He tells them why and He finishes by promising that He will restore His people.
I believe in a personal, engaged, all-powerful, God who is alive, aware and refers to Himself within His creation. I believe the garden of Eden was His first example and Judaism was another. I believe He is and has been demonstrating that we, humans, as His creation will chose sinfulness rather than Him that no matter what options He gives us; we will choose to turn our backs on Him and reject Him.
I believe that He gave Israel (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Israel) repeated grace; leading them Himself, through judges, prophets, priests and kings and they still rejected Him until He chastised them with slavery in other nations for almost 3,000 years.
Then David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly: “O LORD, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever!
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
“O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. “O LORD our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you!
I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.
“O LORD, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes.
Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.”
Then David said to the whole assembly, “Give praise to the LORD your God!” And the entire assembly praised the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and they bowed low and knelt before the LORD and the king. 1 Chronicles 29:10 – 20 NLT
While reading about the split of the kingdom of Israel after Solomon’s death I ran across the description of Jeroboam.
Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph. 1 Kings 11:28
I wanted to revisit how God described Saul, Israel’s first king.
[Kish] had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome peson than he among he sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people. 1 Samuel 9:2
When Israel complained to Samuel about his sons being their judges they asked for a human king. God gave Israel what they wanted but He first had Samuel tell them what a human king would be like; how a king would take their things (children, servants, food, money, etc) versus how God gave them things.