Friday, August 14, 2009

keep singing

What does psalm 137:1-6 describe?
Psalm 137

1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.

2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,

3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD
while in a foreign land?

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill .

6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

7 Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
"Tear it down," they cried,
"tear it down to its foundations!"

8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is he who repays you
for what you have done to us-

9 he who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

The Story of Psalm 137
The *Jews lived in Judah. The country of Babylon was 1000 kilometres to the east. In 586 B.C., the soldiers from Babylon destroyed the capital city of Judah, Jerusalem. B.C. means years Before Christ came to the earth. They took the people that lived there as *prisoners to Babylon. A prisoner is someone in a prison. Or it is someone in a place that they cannot go away from. In 536 B.C. many of the *prisoners and their sons and daughters came back to Jerusalem. In 516 B.C., Persia (now Iran) destroyed Babylon.
This means that we can say when the *psalmist wrote Psalm 137. The *psalmist is the person that wrote the psalm. If you look at verses 1-3 of the psalm, you will see that he (or she) was in Babylon. If you look at verse 8, you will see that Persia has not yet destroyed Babylon. This means that the *psalmist probably wrote the psalm between 536 and 516 B.C. We call the time that the *Jews were *prisoners in Babylon "the *exile". There were two great rivers in Babylon, the Tigris and the Euphrates. There were also small rivers. But the people that lived in Babylon made them. They went between the Tigris River and the Euphrates River. We call them canals. By all these rivers and canals, there were trees. Today we would call them poplar or willow trees. The *Jews in the *exile met by these rivers. They probably talked about Jerusalem and Zion. Zion was one of the hills that they had built the city of Jerusalem on. The *psalmist remembered this when he went home. He also remembered that they could not sing songs about the *LORD in Babylon. Now he was home again. And he hoped that somebody would destroy Babylon as Babylon had destroyed Jerusalem.

Our job is to keep singing the songs of our God by the rivers of babylon until all who have ears to hear can listen. The world ccan't help but notice those accosted by joy!

Neither corrupt nor negligent

What is the context of the word "corrupt" In Daniel 6:4?
Corrupt means:
*corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality; "debauch the young people with wine and women"; "Socrates was accused of corrupting young men"; "Do school counselors subvert young children?"; "corrupt the morals"
*lacking in integrity; "humanity they knew to be corrupt...from the day of Adam's creation"; "a corrupt and incompetent city government"
*bribe: make illegal payments to in exchange for favors or influence; "This judge can be bought"
*crooked: not straight; dishonest or immoral or evasive
*defile: place under suspicion or cast doubt upon; "sully someone's reputation"
*containing errors or alterations; "a corrupt text"; "spoke a corrupted version of the language"
*alter from the original
*touched by rot or decay; "tainted bacon"; "`corrupt' is archaic"

And our boy Daniel...he was none of the above.
He was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
They found NO corruption in him. he did his job.
My goal is to become like him...void of corruption and negligence.
I'm extraordinary because he's extraordinaty.
I need to start living like it!

The fall of revelations' Babylon

How does Revleation 18 descrive Babylon's excessiveness and wealth?

Revelation 18

1After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2With a mighty voice he shouted:
"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!
She has become a home for demons
and a haunt for every evil[a] spirit,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
3For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."

4Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
"Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
6Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
7Give her as much torture and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
'I sit as queen; I am not a widow,
and I will never mourn.'
8Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

9"When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
O Babylon, city of power!
In one hour your doom has come!'

11"The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.

14"They will say, 'The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.' 15The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16and cry out:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!'

"Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?' 19They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!
In one hour she has been brought to ruin!
20Rejoice over her, O heaven!
Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets!
God has judged her for the way she treated you.' "

21Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:
"With such violence
the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,
never to be found again.
22The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters,
will never be heard in you again.
No workman of any trade
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone
will never be heard in you again.
23The light of a lamp will never shine in you again.
The voice of bridegroom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
Your merchants were the world's great men.
By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
24In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints,
and of all who have been killed on the earth."

(forgive me for the jot notes but it's the only way that this actually makes any sense to me!)
*"excessive luxuries" & selfish excess and sin.
*materialism (seductive and destructive)
*all that was wiped out in an hour.

If abundance leads us to pride, decadence, or an isatiable lust for more, we like the kings descrived in Rvelation 18 re being corrupted by it.
We need to stay alert to satan's seductions and to the songs in His town squares.
Buyer beware.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mystery Babylon

Why is Babylon symbolically described as a prostutute?
Perhaps it is becasuse, like a prostute her ability to seductively lure people away from God by offering false-and instant-fulfillment.

Same spot, Different Despot

What would happen at the completion of the captivity (Jer. 29:10-14)?
Hmmm, well let's see what the scripture is:
10 This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. [a] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

..sounds like to me that God is going to come for his children and fulfill the promise that he made them.
To bring them back to where they were supposed to be.
To prosper them, give them a hope and a future that included a relationship with him.

I want to give him unhindered access, trusting that God is with me!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

weighed and found wanting

What was Belshazzar's defining mistake (Dan.5:22)
22“But you his son,O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this.
He KNEW what took down his Grandfather yet refused to humble himself before the lord.
He set himself up against the Lord of heaven. Bad idea....I promise you we'll lose.

An extraordinary spirt

How is Daniel described in Daniel 5:10-17?

10The queen,c hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. “O king, live forever!” she said. “Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! 11There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king, I say—appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. 12This man Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.”

13So Daniel was brought before the king, and the king said to him, “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah? 14I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom. 15The wise men and enchanters were brought before me to read this writing and tell me what it means, but they could not explain it. 16Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

17Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.

He had:
*a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems.
*has the spirit of the holy gods in him (the great I am not the "holy gods")