Good God advice for 2013

31 12 2012

Ecclesiastes is a scary book to read. It’s the ultimate witness to the futility of human experience when we try to go off on our own, live our own way, build our house without God.

Wordle: future

But it also offers good God advice (Ecclesiastes 7:10,14;12:13-14) –

“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’
For it is not wise to ask such questions.

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.

Fear God.

Do what he tells you.

And that’s it.”

Here’s to living well in 2013!


There is always hope

11 09 2011

Love this Banksy

One of the challenges of reading Old Testament prophecy is that it often dots about.  (Not a problem if you have a “dotty” thought pattern!) One minute Micah is talking of impending judgement, the next he is talking about God’s blessings for his people:

  • he gives a depressing catalogue of crimes, followed by a fleeting ray of hope (2:12-13)
  • he describes corrupt and cruel leaders and then counters with the chosen king from Bethlehem (5:2-5)
  • the people will be judged, but there will be a remnant who will remain true (5:7-8)
  • society may be in disarray, but God will win through for his people (7:9ff)

In God’s economy, there is always hope and the appropriate response is one of worship:

“Where is the god who can compare with you—
   wiping the slate clean of guilt,
Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear,
   to the past sins of your purged and precious people?
You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long,
   for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most.
And compassion is on its way to us.
   You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing.
You’ll sink our sins
   to the bottom of the ocean.
You’ll stay true to your word to Father Jacob
   and continue the compassion you showed Grandfather Abraham—
Everything you promised our ancestors
   from a long time ago.”  (Micah 7:18-20 The Message)

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