26 November 2011
Against Hypocrisy - Isaiah, Chapter 1
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen to what our God teaches, you people of Gomorrah.
11 'What are your endless sacrifices to me?' says Yahweh. 'I am sick of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of calves. I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come and present yourselves before me, who has asked you to trample through my courts?
13 Bring no more futile cereal offerings, the smoke from them fills me with disgust. New Moons, Sabbaths, assemblies - I cannot endure solemnity combined with guilt.
14 Your New Moons and your meetings I utterly detest; to me they are a burden I am tired of bearing.
15 When you stretch out your hands I turn my eyes away. You may multiply your prayers, I shall not be listening. Your hands are covered in blood,
16 wash, make yourselves clean. Take your wrong-doing out of my sight. Cease doing evil.
17 Learn to do good, search for justice, discipline the violent, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow.
18 'Come, let us talk this over,' says Yahweh. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing to obey, you shall eat the good things of the earth.
20 But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall eat you instead - for Yahweh's mouth has spoken.'
21 The faithful city, what a harlot she has become! Zion, once full of fair judgement, where saving justice used to dwell, but now assassins!
22 Your silver has turned into dross, your wine is watered.
23 Your princes are rebels, accomplices of brigands. All of them greedy for presents and eager for bribes, they show no justice to the orphan, and the widow's cause never reaches them.
24 Hence, the Lord Yahweh Sabaoth, the Mighty One of Israel, says this, 'Disaster, I shall get the better of my enemies, I shall avenge myself on my foes.
25 'I shall turn my hand against you, I shall purge your dross as though with potash, I shall remove all your alloy.
26 'And I shall restore your judges as at first, your counselors as in bygone days, after which you will be called City of Saving Justice, Faithful City.'
27 Zion will be redeemed by fair judgement, and those who return, by saving justice.
28 Rebels and sinners alike will be destroyed, and those who abandon Yahweh will perish.
29 How ashamed you will be of the terebinths which gave you such delight; and how you will blush for the gardens which you chose!
30 For you will be like a terebinth with faded leaves, like a garden without water;
31 the strong will become like tinder, his work like the spark; both will go up in flames together, with no one to put them out.
You are the Potter, we are the clay, the works of your hands
- Extracted from Isaiah 63:16-17, 64:1, 3-8
You, Lord, yourself are our Father, Our Redeemer is your ancient name.
Why, Lord, leave us to stray from your ways and harden our hearts against fearing you?
Return, for the sake of your servants, the tribe of your inheritance.
Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down—at your Presence the mountains would melt.
No ear has heard, no eye has seen any god but You act like this for those who trust Him.
You guide those who act with integrity and keep your ways in mind.
You were angry when we were sinners; we have long been rebels against You.
We were all like men unclean, all that integrity of ours like filthy clothing.
We have all withered like leaves and our sins blew us away like the wind.
No one invoked your name or roused himself to catch hold of you.
For you hid your face from us and gave us up to the power of our sins.
And yet, Lord, you are our Father ; we the clay, you the potter, we are all the work of your hand.
(Our Reflections: Let’s not be like those who persist in wrong doing, they are like withered leaves, unclean men and filthy clothes, where God would hide His face. Consequently, they would be left with nothing but bad luck, because peace, love, joy & other blessings... come from God only, no matter what’s your religion. And when God leaves, that person would likely end up in a disaster... because the curse is on him.)
Stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming
- Extracted from Mark, Chapter 13: 33-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.
It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake.
So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep.
And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’
The Proverbs of Solomon – Extracted from Proverbs, Chapters 10:
1 The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise child is a father's joy, a foolish child a mother's grief.
2 Treasures wickedly come by give no benefit, but uprightness brings delivery from death.
3 Yahweh does not let the upright go hungry, but he thwarts the greed of the wicked.
4 A slack hand brings poverty, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth.
5 Reaping at harvest-time is the mark of the prudent, sleeping at harvest-time is the sign of the worthless.
6 Blessings are on the head of the upright, but premature mourning stops the mouth of the wicked.
7 The upright is remembered with blessings, the name of the wicked rots away.
8 The wise of heart takes orders, but a gabbling fool heads for ruin.
9 Anyone whose ways are honourable walks secure, but whoever follows crooked ways is soon unmasked.
10 A wink of the eye, and a man brings trouble, a bold rebuke, and a man makes peace.
11 The mouth of the upright is a life-giving fountain, but violence lurks in the mouth of the wicked.
12 Hatred provokes disputes, but love covers over all offences.
13 On the lips of the discerning is found wisdom, on the back of a fool, the stick.
14 Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool makes ruin imminent.
15 The wealth of the rich is their stronghold, poverty is the undoing of the weak.
16 The wage of the upright affords life, but destruction is all the wicked earns.
17 Whoever abides by discipline, walks towards life, whoever ignores correction goes astray.
18 Liars' lips are a cover for hatred, whoever utters slander is a fool.
19 A flood of words is never without fault; whoever controls the lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the upright is purest silver, the heart of the wicked is of trumpery value.
21 The lips of the upright nourish many peoples, but fools die in poverty.
22 The blessing of Yahweh is what brings riches, to this, hard toil has nothing to add.
23 A fool takes pleasure in doing wrong, the intelligent in cultivating wisdom.
24 What the wicked fears overtakes him, what the upright desires comes to him as a present.
25 When the storm is over, the wicked is no more, but the upright stands firm for ever.
26 As vinegar to the teeth, smoke to the eyes, so the sluggard to the one who sends him.
27 The fear of Yahweh adds length to life, the years of the wicked will be cut short.
28 The hope of the upright is joy, the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.
29 Yahweh is a stronghold for the man of honest life, for evil doers nothing but ruin.
30 The upright will never have to be moved from his own place, but the land will offer no home for the wicked.
31 The mouth of the upright utters wisdom, the tongue that deceives will be cut off.
32 The lips of the upright know about kindness, the mouth of the wicked about deceit.
26 November 2011