3 A psalm of David when he fled from his son Absalom
“O Lord, so many are against me. So many seek to harm me. I have so many enemies. 2 So many say that God will never help me. 3 But Lord, you are my shield, my glory, and my only hope. You alone can lift my head, now bowed in shame. 4 I cried out to the Lord, and he heard me from his Temple in Jerusalem. 5 Then I lay down and slept in peace and woke up safely, for the Lord was watching over me. 6 And now, although ten thousand enemies surround me on every side, I am not afraid. 7 I will cry to him, ‘Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God!’ And he will slap them in the face, insulting them and breaking off their teeth. 8 For salvation comes from God. What joys he gives to all his people.” ~ Psalm 3:1-8
~ Pray Silently ~
Oh Lord, it is to you that I pray. It is to you I hang all of my hopes and fears upon, for it is only you who truly knows my heart. Lord, I call out to you as my redeemer; as my savior; for you have never left me when everyone else has abandoned me. Oh Lord, I know you see my struggles, my hardships, and all my difficulties I have endured. I know you have been there with me because I can feel you every moment of every day. Though my head is bowed, and I am weak from the fight, I have your assurance I will prevail. Though there are many who would bring me low, I have your promise that in that hour you will lift me high upon your shoulders. You will keep watch over me when I sleep and vanquish all who would come after me in the darkest of night. Oh my Lord, My God, with these truths I have no reason to fear or be in any distress, for you are with me and I am with you. For you give me your divine peace and holy security and it is through this I know I am truly saved. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen ~ Brian Stark (2014, Jan. 16)
11 “‘Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” ~ Leviticus 19:11
When confronted with this word, I think deep down inside we all want to be honest, but yet we are still very much intimidated by it. Honesty carries with it some very rigorous implications, like a two edged sword that could just as easily cut the wielder as the opponent. As imperfect human-beings this word, “HONESTY” scares us just a little because we all know this is the ideal we sinners can never live up too. For the majority of people however, this ideal is very much ever-present in our minds, hearts, and souls as it is the one aspiration which can revolutionize how we think, feel, and operate on a daily basis and again that notion is a bit scary. So, with this firmly stated and excepted as the truth, no one is perfect, thus when we reflect upon this word there should be no one who takes offense of the remainder of this blog. Rather when reading the contents I ask that you reflect deeply upon your own life and experiences and ask yourself how honest have you truly been to your loved ones, friends, and of course yourself? How honest have you been with God? Also as a disclaimer I want everyone to know I am not perfect and I too struggle with this word everyday. But it also should be known that when we are not honest we are breaking a covenant with God, as mentioned above, God did ordain it to be so for all mankind to be honest with each other, to not steal lie, or deceive. Because when we are not honest with one another then we separate ourselves just that much more from Him. We destroy what should have been and allow an abomination to take its place.
35 “You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.” ~Leviticus 19:35
It’s interesting that God chose the word, “INJUSTICE”, when warning us about our sense of judgement. I feel He saw our civilization coming and knew we would be a people of great laws, and even greater hypocrisy and corruption within those laws. I think He knew we could not live up to the ideal He set forth so we would try and replace His perfect laws with ones of our own, ones less perfect in nature more befitting mankind. Laws riddled with loopholes that would allow Judges from all branches of our Justice System to skip happily through rules they feel strongly about but while ignoring the words “Shall Do”, ignoring the laws in-favor of making a point or changing how people perceive specific guidelines and policies. I think God saw our lawyers who argue their cases based upon lies and misdirection, never caring who they hurt but instead whether or not they win their case. Justice goes hand in hand with ethics, but our civilization too is so far removed from this our most honest of men sit and let immoral people change the definitions of words like, “Marriage” to include two people of the same sex, which again is clearly an abomination to God. I am still waiting for people to protest scenes in our T.V. shows who have snuck in under the radar that depict two men kissing, or two women making out. For these perverse things our children are being desensitized too and will someday be voting adults. This is how perversion is first spread and rots out the core of a nation. The older I get the more my students become accepting and down right argumentative to what it means to them to be married, what it means to not have pre-marital sex, and even more shocking how they feel violence is acceptable behavior when someone disagrees with them. But, this of course is the final result of our long lived policies of stripping our public schools from saying prayers in their classrooms, prohibiting our children to engage in their faith on public property and to keep our children from having pride in our country by abolishing the national anthem in school for the fear it might hurt a specific groups sensibilities. It’s interesting how far we have slid since those policies where adopted over thirty years ago, and I must now stand up and forewarn you all that God will turn His back on us as surely as we have turned our backs on Him. Our judgments on issues of morality are the cause to our grief as a country, because they are filled with injustice of both measure, weight, and volume. The days of honesty in Government is over, honesty in our courts is over, honesty in our media has become a thing of the past as well.
17 “Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am theLord your God.” ~ Leviticus 25:17
Ironically, the injustice in our country is primarily a symptom of our rotting souls as we seek to oppress instead of find common ground and common respect. Our fear of God sadly too has become a thing of the past as to many of our evangelists preach about a loving, tender, forgiving God that is no-longer vengeful, no longer judgmental, or temperamental as found in the Old Testament. To many feel what was then does not apply to us today, thus removing ourselves from under the harder aspects of what God really expects from us as His people. At this juncture I would like to point out the only being that which was the same a million years ago is still unchanged and perfect. Therefore, God is unchanged since the beginning and His views, wants, desires, hopes, and aspirations for mankind is also unchanged. We have become spiritually soft and I would hazard a guess this is because no one or collective group of thousands or tens of thousands of people all in unison have not heard from God lately. To even admit you hear God’s voice in your heart and mind in today’s world is looked at as strange. But, yet two men or women kissing each other isn’t strange? This perversion is truly the hallmark of the days Jesus predicted would come. Oppression is found in every avenue of our great society from how we oppress men’s and fathers rights, to how we oppress other people from other countries when their land holds something of value we prize and want to control it based upon the, “Holy Grail”, of excuses called “National Security”. We oppress people with our hypocritical view of the 1%ers to how we tax those who can no-longer pay taxes nor catchup in what they owe because of the meager wages they earn. Again, we have forgotten honesty, integrity, and hard-work and have replaced it with a dollar sign and loophole in the tax code called shelters. Who would have ever thought our money would need a shelter?
HONESTY VRS THE FALSE BALANCE
11 “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.” ~ Proverbs 11:1
All the above indeed has caused a false balance, one so greatly exacerbated that our very economic system will implode its just a matter of when. Largely this problem of economics is based upon a decision made when our country was still very young and it was made through weakness of the President of the time and Greed from the banking institutions. This of course of which I speak gave rise to the modern money system we enjoy today, one based upon credit and interest. A system we force feed the rest of the world and yet we are surprised upon the eve of its failure of why the world hates us? I say what a short memory we have and what a wonderful ability to spin the truth we have developed. A false balance created through lies, manipulation, and dishonest behavior. As with our nation so too many people around the world have fallen into this greed and sin as their personal lives spin out of control spiraling downward from the lavish spending and while spouting aloud that this looming doom will never happen, turning a blind eye to the obvious as well as turning a blind eye to God. Simple truth is when we as mortals feel we are more powerful than the most powerful being in existence. When we examine this in full detail it seems to me to be something seriously wrong with how we view ourselves, and how unbalanced we have as people, as well as, a nation have we become.
27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” ~ Proverbs 3:27
Again “HONESTY” is the ability to recognize the truth, to tell the truth even when it is not in ones best interest, and it is our obligation as believers to keep our brethren from lying, cheating, and stealing from others. But the sin which is greater than the total sum is when a person in their own heart and mind willfully ignores the truth, ignores honesty, and withholds an honest man his due. In this any victory is hollow, any triumph is rendered meaningless, and all effort to that end have thus become futile. When we are given the opportunity to tell the truth and we ignore that obligation we then are turning our backs on what God wants, we thus change the circumstances to fit our own personal wants, stopping what was supposed to come into fruition and instead allowing an abomination. Everyone of us is guilty of everything thus far mentioned, but some of us more so than others. It is a hard reality when we wake and see ourselves in such a stark light, but nevertheless something we all must eventually do if we want God’s grace to shine upon us.
8 “Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with injustice.” ~Proverbs 16:8
Profit over righteousness? This has become the true question. Who should we be loyal to? Which master will be more forgiving in the end? Which side should we be on in these days of such turmoil? Jesus professed there would be such days where we would be blinded to what was real, man would sircome to evil and nations would crumble and fall because of their greed. The depiction of the end by John of Patmos is truly horrifying to say the least, but how much more bizarre and alarming was it to the disciples when Jesus spoke of those days. In fact Jesus was more in line with the idea that even the smallest amount of righteousness was better than none. It’s funny how people of those times mirrored those of us today who still clammer and bicker about who should or should not, ignoring that it would be righteous to find peace and accomplish the task together for the benefit of all. Both time periods are largely incased in vast greed, and the pursuit of happiness and truth through money and possessions again something Jesus emphatically instructed not to do. I would hazard a guess that Jesus was talking to them and us and our children, and all people until His glorious return.
THE CHALLENGE OF HONESTY
9 “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 andhave put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” ~ Colossians 3:9-10
Therefore, in what has been thus written a collection of mankind’s collective sins against God. Here before everyone of us is the sin of dishonesty and the challenge to reverse or at least atone for our ignorance. For God has so declared for all mankind to be honest, to not lie, to not steal, to not manipulate, and to never pervert the truth in anyway. God commanded us to not bare falsely against thy neighbor and to love one another as you love yourself. The challenge before all of us as sinners is to change and be more honest with God, with ourselves, and with our loved ones. To cast off our old sinful ways, and cling to our new more incorruptible selves. The challenge of honesty is real, it is ever present, it does not ever go away, and it above all it is absolutely, brutally honest. As I have stated before, a lie is a lie and will always be a lie, but the truth is the most honest things we could ever possess in this life. It is the ideal we should all strive for, we should all help each other stay devoted too, and it is that goal we can taste but never truly own.
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