As consider today and the future we head towards, I consider the past and the pendulum of life that I have seen where people swing towards God and then they walk away from God. I consider how when people forget the things of the past they aren’t drawn to God and then sway away from God and try to go it their own way. I consider how so many of the things that are being proposed aren’t new ideas but seem new to those who haven’t seen nor heard them before. Just as Solomon said “there is nothing new under the sun“. Ever considered the techniques or the practices that are trying to get put into play and if they have ever been tried before and the outcomes? Ever wondered what could have been done that would have made the outcome in the previous attempts different? As I was searching today’s title and looking for an image for this quote, a strange post appeared in the list of images which points to an example from the past where something that is being tried around the world as something new and for good went wrong.
Let’s consider and learn from the past rather than being doomed to repeat the mistakes. It is totally OK to make new mistakes. We should try to avoid repeating mistakes that have already been made. So let’s help this generation by point them to the lessons learned. Let’s not forget the lessons of the past but instead pass them on to our next generations. Let’s share the stories of how God has done things in our lives. Let’s share the stories of how good God has been to us and how He has gotten us through the trials of life. Let’s share the lessons learned so that others don’t need to make the same mistakes we have.
For me the power of forgiveness is probably the biggest and most powerful lesson I have learned. It showed me the destruction and detriment of allowing a bitter root to take place and start to grow. It showed me the freedom that comes through forgiveness of others and from God.
Another lesson was how God qualifies the called rather than calling the qualified. I learned this when God called me to get involved in the community and then called me to step up into higher leadership positions. I was allowing the lies of the devil and fear to keep me from stepping up and stepping into what God had for me because I didn’t feel or believe I was qualified to do it. That day when God confronted me with the option of doing what He was calling me to do or being nothing was the turning point where I realized that I had to let Him either be Lord of all or He wouldn’t be Lord at all.
So how about you? Any lessons you have learned? Anything from the past that you see others trying to repeat? The definition of insanity is:
- the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness.”he suffered from bouts of insanity” · [more]synonyms:mental illness · mental disorder · mental derangement · madness · insaneness · dementia · dementedness · lunacy · instability · unsoundness of mind · loss of reason · delirium · hysteria · mania · psychosis · craziness · crazedness · deliration
- extreme foolishness or irrationality.”it might be pure insanity to take this loan” · [more]synonyms:folly · foolishness · foolhardiness · idiocy · stupidity · imbecility · asininity · lunacy · madness · silliness · senselessness · brainlessness · thoughtlessness · irrationality · illogicality · absurdity · ludicrousness · ridiculousness · craziness · daftness
Some have said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result“. So let’s stop the insanity and start doing something about it!
So lets stop the insanity! Let’s share God’s Word and God’s truth so that people can know and live a life of true love and grace no matter what trials or troubles come their ways.
Today’s reading gets us started with a young 12 year old who is given the keys to the kingdom in 2 Kings 21:
‘Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. He did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had destroyed. He constructed altars for Baal and set up an Asherah pole, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them. He built pagan altars in the Temple of the Lord , the place where the Lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the Lord ’s Temple. Manasseh also sacrificed his own son in the fire. He practiced sorcery and divination, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lord ’s sight, arousing his anger. Manasseh even made a carved image of Asherah and set it up in the Temple, the very place where the Lord had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws my servant Moses gave them—I will not send them into exile from this land that I gave their ancestors.” But the people refused to listen, and Manasseh led them to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the Lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land. Then the Lord said through his servants the prophets: “King Manasseh of Judah has done many detestable things. He is even more wicked than the Amorites, who lived in this land before Israel. He has caused the people of Judah to sin with his idols. So this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I will bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of those who hear about it will tingle with horror. I will judge Jerusalem by the same standard I used for Samaria and the same measure I used for the family of Ahab. I will wipe away the people of Jerusalem as one wipes a dish and turns it upside down. Then I will reject even the remnant of my own people who are left, and I will hand them over as plunder for their enemies. For they have done great evil in my sight and have angered me ever since their ancestors came out of Egypt.” Manasseh also murdered many innocent people until Jerusalem was filled from one end to the other with innocent blood. This was in addition to the sin that he caused the people of Judah to commit, leading them to do evil in the Lord ’s sight. The rest of the events in Manasseh’s reign and everything he did, including the sins he committed, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Manasseh died, he was buried in the palace garden, the garden of Uzza. Then his son Amon became the next king. Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz from Jotbah. He did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He followed the example of his father, worshiping the same idols his father had worshiped. He abandoned the Lord , the God of his ancestors, and he refused to follow the Lord ’s ways. Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king. The rest of the events in Amon’s reign and what he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. Then his son Josiah became the next king.’— 2 Kings 21:1-26
Today’s reading then continues into Ezekiel 27:
‘Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, sing a funeral song for Tyre, that mighty gateway to the sea, the trading center of the world. Give Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord : “You boasted, O Tyre, ‘My beauty is perfect!’ You extended your boundaries into the sea. Your builders made your beauty perfect. You were like a great ship built of the finest cypress from Senir. They took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you. They carved your oars from the oaks of Bashan. Your deck of pine from the coasts of Cyprus was inlaid with ivory. Your sails were made of Egypt’s finest linen, and they flew as a banner above you. You stood beneath blue and purple awnings made bright with dyes from the coasts of Elishah. Your oarsmen came from Sidon and Arvad; your helmsmen were skilled men from Tyre itself. Wise old craftsmen from Gebal did the caulking. Ships from every land came with goods to barter for your trade. “Men from distant Persia, Lydia, and Libya served in your great army. They hung their shields and helmets on your walls, giving you great honor. Men from Arvad and Helech stood on your walls. Your towers were manned by men from Gammad. Their shields hung on your walls, completing your beauty. “Tarshish sent merchants to buy your wares in exchange for silver, iron, tin, and lead. Merchants from Greece, Tubal, and Meshech brought slaves and articles of bronze to trade with you. “From Beth-togarmah came riding horses, chariot horses, and mules, all in exchange for your goods. Merchants came to you from Dedan. Numerous coastlands were your captive markets; they brought payment in ivory tusks and ebony wood. “Syria sent merchants to buy your rich variety of goods. They traded turquoise, purple dyes, embroidery, fine linen, and jewelry of coral and rubies. Judah and Israel traded for your wares, offering wheat from Minnith, figs, honey, olive oil, and balm. “Damascus sent merchants to buy your rich variety of goods, bringing wine from Helbon and white wool from Zahar. Greeks from Uzal came to trade for your merchandise. Wrought iron, cassia, and fragrant calamus were bartered for your wares. “Dedan sent merchants to trade their expensive saddle blankets with you. The Arabians and the princes of Kedar sent merchants to trade lambs and rams and male goats in exchange for your goods. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah came with all kinds of spices, jewels, and gold in exchange for your wares. “Haran, Canneh, Eden, Sheba, Asshur, and Kilmad came with their merchandise, too. They brought choice fabrics to trade—blue cloth, embroidery, and multicolored carpets rolled up and bound with cords. The ships of Tarshish were your ocean caravans. Your island warehouse was filled to the brim! “But look! Your oarsmen have taken you into stormy seas! A mighty eastern gale has wrecked you in the heart of the sea! Everything is lost— your riches and wares, your sailors and pilots, your ship builders, merchants, and warriors. On the day of your ruin, everyone on board sinks into the depths of the sea. Your cities by the sea tremble as your pilots cry out in terror. All the oarsmen abandon their ships; the sailors and pilots stand on the shore. They cry aloud over you and weep bitterly. They throw dust on their heads and roll in ashes. They shave their heads in grief for you and dress themselves in burlap. They weep for you with bitter anguish and deep mourning. As they wail and mourn over you, they sing this sad funeral song: ‘Was there ever such a city as Tyre, now silent at the bottom of the sea? The merchandise you traded satisfied the desires of many nations. Kings at the ends of the earth were enriched by your trade. Now you are a wrecked ship, broken at the bottom of the sea. All your merchandise and crew have gone down with you. All who live along the coastlands are appalled at your terrible fate. Their kings are filled with horror and look on with twisted faces. The merchants among the nations shake their heads at the sight of you, for you have come to a horrible end and will exist no more.’”’— Ezekiel 27:1-36
Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament with Acts 18:
‘Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him. They stopped first at the port of Ephesus, where Paul left the others behind. While he was there, he went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews. They asked him to stay longer, but he declined. As he left, however, he said, “I will come back later, God willing.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. The next stop was at the port of Caesarea. From there he went up and visited the church at Jerusalem and then went back to Antioch. After spending some time in Antioch, Paul went back through Galatia and Phrygia, visiting and strengthening all the believers. Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately. Apollos had been thinking about going to Achaia, and the brothers and sisters in Ephesus encouraged him to go. They wrote to the believers in Achaia, asking them to welcome him. When he arrived there, he proved to be of great benefit to those who, by God’s grace, had believed. He refuted the Jews with powerful arguments in public debate. Using the Scriptures, he explained to them that Jesus was the Messiah.’— Acts of the Apostles 18:18-28
Today’s reading continues into Revelation 9:
‘Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. When he opened it, smoke poured out as though from a huge furnace, and the sunlight and air turned dark from the smoke. Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were told not to kill them but to torture them for five months with pain like the pain of a scorpion sting. In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them! The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. They had what looked like gold crowns on their heads, and their faces looked like human faces. They had hair like women’s hair and teeth like the teeth of a lion. They wore armor made of iron, and their wings roared like an army of chariots rushing into battle. They had tails that stung like scorpions, and for five months they had the power to torment people. Their king is the angel from the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon —the Destroyer.’— Revelation 9:1-11
Today’s reading then concludes with Psalms 122:
‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord .” And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached. All the tribes of Israel—the Lord ’s people— make their pilgrimage here. They come to give thanks to the name of the Lord , as the law requires of Israel. Here stand the thrones where judgment is given, the thrones of the dynasty of David. Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “May you have peace.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.’— Psalms 122:1-9
So where are you at today? Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord that Your Word is alive and true and never changes, providing a solid foundation on which to build my life. I thank You Lord for Your armor available for me to put on daily with Your Word being my one offensive weapon against the lies and attacks of this dark world. Help me today Lord as I step up and step out leaning not on my own understanding but putting all my hope and trust in You. I ask all this in Jesus’s name so that You Lord will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.