Oppressing the poor
to enrich oneself,
and giving to the rich–both lead
only to poverty.
Oppressing the poor
to enrich oneself,
and giving to the rich–both lead
only to poverty.
Not a “Christian” song for this Sunday, but…
“…heaven’s waiting for the sinner…”
Proverbs 17:7 HCSB
“Excessive speech is not appropriate on a fool’s lips; how much worse are lies for ruler.”
There’s a proverb for every occasion!
Psalm 55 HCSB [brackets are stream of consciousness thoughts from me, which may or may not have anything to do with the passages around them]. I’d also urge you to click through some of those links.
God, listen to my prayer
and do not ignore my plea for help.
Pay attention to me and answer me.
I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint,
because of the enemy’s voice,
because of the pressure of the wicked.
For they bring down disaster on me
and harass me in anger.
[I have seen many people around the internet lately who almost seem to have given up any hope for the future whatsoever, and from the way things are going–crashing economies, governmental power grabs, and the complete disregard of the current administration for both the letter and spirit of the law–who could blame them? It is seeming like disaster is upon us.]
My heart shudders within me;
terrors of death sweep over me.
Fear and trembling grip me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “If only I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and find rest.
How far away I would flee;
I would stay in the wilderness.
I would hurry to my shelter
from the raging wind and the storm.”
[Fleeing tyranny–Going Galt, if you will–used to be a great way to escape. From Moses to the Pilgrims, right? Too bad we’re in the last place left that has any hope at freedom. Where’s my space drive, huh?]
Lord, confuse and confound their speech,
for I see violence and strife in the city;
day and night they make the rounds on its walls.
Crime and trouble are within it;
destruction is inside it;
oppression and deceit never leave its marketplace.
[Seriously, have you heard from places like Detroit, where justified homicide is 2200% higher than the national average? Or how Chicago was so proud that they finally had an entire 24 hour period without a shooting? While I guess both those things are good, in a way… just, wow. There are some major problems out there.]
Now it is not an enemy who insults me—
otherwise I could bear it;
it is not a foe who rises up against me—
otherwise I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man who is my peer,
my companion and good friend!
We used to have close fellowship;
we walked with the crowd into the house of God.
[Oh, President Obama. Elected on populism, and then proceeded to throw every support group he had under the bus. Too bad most of them believe him when he says “Oh baby, you know I love you, won’t you please take me back?” All the hallmarks of an abusive relationship, there. Perhaps with this latest Catholic abortions thing we will see a major group of voters stop trusting the restraining order and go out to buy a shotgun.]
Let death take them by surprise;
let them go down to Sheol alive,
because evil is in their homes and within them.
But I call to God,
and the LORD will save me.
I complain and groan morning, noon, and night,
and He hears my voice.
Though many are against me,
He will redeem me from my battle unharmed.
God, the One enthroned from long ago,
will hear and will humiliate them
because they do not change
and do not fear God.
[I truly do believe in just deserts… it’s just that sometimes you really want to see them happen while you’re around, rather than waiting for the next life. I know, I know, not very Christian of me, but sometimes you just gotta say what you feel, ok?]
My friend acts violently
against those at peace with him;
he violates his covenant.
His buttery words are smooth,
but war is in his heart.
His words are softer than oil,
but they are drawn swords.
[Hey, has anyone around here ever heard of a little thing called “Operation Fast and Furious”? It is the weirdest little thing, you know, arming the enemies of a nation whose last aggression against us was in like, what, in either 1916 or 1846, depending on what you count as aggression/aggressors? Hmmm, well, in any case WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING? Ah yes, and that “violating his covenant” thing…]
Cast your burden on the LORD,
and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
[Righteous is a good word. It doesn’t mean “perfect.” It doesn’t mean “nice.” And it sure doesn’t mean “pansy-ass pacifist.” Maybe a good way to describe it would be “Outraged at evil.” Kinda like this. Or Gatling Good.]
God, You will bring them down
to the Pit of destruction;
men of bloodshed and treachery
will not live out half their days.
But I will trust in You.
[And sometimes that’s all that gets me up in the morning…]
I can’t remember if I have posted this song before or not, but it’s been a looong time if I have.
Before zombies were in, Audio Adrenaline made this:
I quite like the comparison of being “dead to sin like some kind a zombie” (ahem, “dead man dance” ahem). Doesn’t hurt that it’s a solid rockin’ song, and a bizarre music video (in other words, right up my alley). And it’s from one of my favorite 90’s Christian albums–I know I did the Chevette song, off of it a while back.
Proverbs 28:2 (HCSB):
When a land is in rebellion, it has many rulers,
but with a discerning and knowledgeable person, it endures.
While you might take this to say that the Proverbs are pushing an “Only Ones” mentality, I sure can’t say that right now we don’t have any “discerning and knowledgeable” people in charge of anything, and the “enduring” part doesn’t seem to be very realistic, and between all of the entrenched bureaucracy, states trying to get back their power, justice department trying to start a war with Mexico, tea party, OWS, Republican, and Democrat bickering, and a president who flies off to Hawaii at the drop of a hat, there isn’t much leadership floating around out there either.
I read through the Thessalonians the other night and thought I would just point this out–
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (or thereabouts) from the HCSB translation:
About brotherly love: you don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.
Or, if that isn’t clear enough for you, The Message puts it a little more bluntly:
Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.
Look for a job or at least stop asking for handouts!
“…freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and often squandered.”
From Eugene Peterson’s introduction to Galatians in his Message paraphrase.
Lord, protect the widows and orphans, help modern medicine to find a universal cure for cancer, and keep me from ever, ever looking like someone out of “people of walmart” while grocery shopping. Amen.
And with a metaphor! But a rockin’ song.
It was also my roommate’s theme song.
Manifest destiny is still how the US rolls, but now we don’t even have a theological base to it.
Puff the magic Jesus
Floats around the universe
The United States is His favorite place on the whole entire earth
So sing your songs and wave your flag
And thank the Lord for all you have
But what about them?
Did you forget about them?
We came we conquered never speak of this again life
Must go on let’s not think of them
Things are comfortable now the pioneers have settled in
A perfect blend of progress and pale skin
For our sake and those to come
We’ll rewrite the text so you can forget where you came from
Tell it in a way that will build your self esteem
Repackage the product and sell the American dream
History is best forgotten and even better rewritten
And since there’s no forgetting let’s remember it different
Commit to it so strongly till you believe it
The truth is there but you aren’t able to receive it
You need to know you’re safe here
Hide your face here cuz you found your faith here
But four walls with no windows doesn’t mean you’re it
Four walls with no windows doesn’t mean they don’t exist
What a prosperous, wondrous place
Remember to say grace before we scrape our plates
And ignore the crying outside the door sure
You’ll pray for their burdens but you don’t want to make it yours
Thin lines divide but there’s a world of difference
So crawl back into your happy existence and feel the bliss of ignorance keep you warm
Blessed are those who mourn but it’s so foreign
The more you have the less you care
The less you care the more you become unaware
And sure life’s not fair but it favors us apparently
And how are we to interpret this excess
Is it God’s favor ill-behavior or simply man’s modern progress
God bless us as we sweep this mess under the rug
Don’t want to walk barefoot on the tile and step in the mud
Out of sight out of mind and pushed to the side
Left for someone else to rationalize and justify