What causes murder?

Today was a day of one errand after another.  When I came home this afternoon, I saw the president of the United States of America on the television, commenting about the recent shootings in our Northern states.  It appeared he was quite saddened by these horrific occurrences, but I think we will have to wait for the other shoe to drop.  What I mean is that the more liberal element within our government will use these recent shootings to try to eliminate our second amendment rights.  The back of the T-shirt only tells half of the story; read below to see the rest...

Exodus, Chapter 20
  1 God spoke all these words, saying,  2 “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 

  3  “You shall have no other gods before me. 

  4  “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,  6 and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. 

  7  “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 

  8  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work,  10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;  11 for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.

  12  “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you. 

  13  “You shall not murder. 

  14  “You shall not commit adultery. 

  15  “You shall not steal. 

  16  “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 

  17  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Murder (see vs. 13 above) is one of the Old testament commandments.  Notice that there is not a list of the "Hows". The methods used in murders are as variable as the people who commit them.  Don't blame the ownership of guns on the act; it is the sinful human heart that is the culprit.  We don't need more legislation, we need education.  Instruction in the ways of God should be our aim.  Human governments are inherently flawed and can not provide a permanent solution, The Word of GOD CAN!!!    Which brings me to another passage from the Bible, this time from the New Testament.

Luke, Chapter 10
 25  Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 

  26  He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” 

  27  He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

  28  He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.”

Both the passage from Exodus and Luke could be condensed further to: LOVE GOD AND DO WHAT YOU LIKE.  For if you really love GOD, then you will live as HE wants you to.  Simple, straightforward and effective; the best murder control I can imagine!!!

PS.  Please do not misunderstand today's post; my heart goes out to all involved in today's events.  I pray that God will comfort them in their time of sorrow!!!!

Bible Reading, Dec. 14

Dec. 14
Hosea 9-12

Hos 9:1 Don't rejoice, Israel, to jubilation like the nations; for you were unfaithful to your God. You love the wages of a prostitute at every grain threshing floor.
Hos 9:2 The threshing floor and the winepress won't feed them, and the new wine will fail her.
Hos 9:3 They won't dwell in Yahweh's land; but Ephraim will return to Egypt, and they will eat unclean food in Assyria.
Hos 9:4 They won't pour out wine offerings to Yahweh, neither will they be pleasing to him. Their sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners; all who eat of it will be polluted; for their bread will be for their appetite. It will not come into the house of Yahweh.
Hos 9:5 What will you do in the day of solemn assembly, and in the day of the feast of Yahweh?
Hos 9:6 For, behold, they have gone away from destruction. Egypt will gather them up. Memphis will bury them. Nettles will possess their pleasant things of silver. Thorns will be in their tents.
Hos 9:7 The days of visitation have come. The days of reckoning have come. Israel will consider the prophet to be a fool, and the man who is inspired to be insane, because of the abundance of your sins, and because your hostility is great.
Hos 9:8 A prophet watches over Ephraim with my God. A fowler's snare is on all of his paths, and hostility in the house of his God.
Hos 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity. He will punish them for their sins.
Hos 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness. I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at its first season; but they came to Baal Peor, and consecrated themselves to the shameful thing, and became abominable like that which they loved.
Hos 9:11 As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird. There will be no birth, none with child, and no conception.
Hos 9:12 Though they bring up their children, yet I will bereave them, so that not a man shall be left. Indeed, woe also to them when I depart from them!
Hos 9:13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place; but Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer.
Hos 9:14 Give them--Yahweh what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
Hos 9:15 "All their wickedness is in Gilgal; for there I hated them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house! I will love them no more. All their princes are rebels.
Hos 9:16 Ephraim is struck. Their root has dried up. They will bear no fruit. Even though they bring forth, yet I will kill the beloved ones of their womb."
Hos 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not listen to him; and they will be wanderers among the nations.

Hos 10:1 Israel is a luxuriant vine that puts forth his fruit. According to the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. As their land has prospered, they have adorned their sacred stones.
Hos 10:2 Their heart is divided. Now they will be found guilty. He will demolish their altars. He will destroy their sacred stones.
Hos 10:3 Surely now they will say, "We have no king; for we don't fear Yahweh; and the king, what can he do for us?"
Hos 10:4 They make promises, swearing falsely in making covenants. Therefore judgment springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.
Hos 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria will be in terror for the calves of Beth Aven; for its people will mourn over it, Along with its priests who rejoiced over it, for its glory, because it has departed from it.
Hos 10:6 It also will be carried to Assyria for a present to a great king. Ephraim will receive shame, and Israel will be ashamed of his own counsel.
Hos 10:7 Samaria and her king float away, like a twig on the water.
Hos 10:8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. The thorn and the thistle will come up on their altars. They will tell the mountains, "Cover us!" and the hills, "Fall on us!"
Hos 10:9 "Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah. There they remained. The battle against the children of iniquity doesn't overtake them in Gibeah.
Hos 10:10 When it is my desire, I will chastise them; and the nations will be gathered against them, when they are bound to their two transgressions.
Hos 10:11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh; so I will put a yoke on her beautiful neck. I will set a rider on Ephraim. Judah will plow. Jacob will break his clods.
Hos 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness. Break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Yahweh, until he comes and rains righteousness on you.
Hos 10:13 You have plowed wickedness. You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, for you trusted in your way, in the multitude of your mighty men.
Hos 10:14 Therefore a battle roar will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in the day of battle. The mother was dashed in pieces with her children.
Hos 10:15 So Bethel will do to you because of your great wickedness. At daybreak the king of Israel will be destroyed.

Hos 11:1 "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Hos 11:2 They called to them, so they went from them. They sacrificed to the Baals, and burned incense to engraved images.
Hos 11:3 Yet I taught Ephraim to walk. I took them by his arms; but they didn't know that I healed them.
Hos 11:4 I drew them with cords of a man, with ties of love; and I was to them like those who lift up the yoke on their necks; and I bent down to him and I fed him.
Hos 11:5 "They won't return into the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian will be their king, because they refused to repent.
Hos 11:6 The sword will fall on their cities, and will destroy the bars of their gates, and will put an end to their plans.
Hos 11:7 My people are determined to turn from me. Though they call to the Most High, he certainly won't exalt them.
Hos 11:8 "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned within me, my compassion is aroused.
Hos 11:9 I will not execute the fierceness of my anger. I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of you; and I will not come in wrath.
Hos 11:10 They will walk after Yahweh, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children will come trembling from the west.
Hos 11:11 They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, and like a dove out of the land of Assyria; and I will settle them in their houses," says Yahweh.
Hos 11:12 Ephraim surrounds me with falsehood, and the house of Israel with deceit. Judah still strays from God, and is unfaithful to the Holy One.

Hos 12:1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and chases the east wind. He continually multiplies lies and desolation. They make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried into Egypt.
Hos 12:2 Yahweh also has a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his deeds he will repay him.
Hos 12:3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he contended with God.
Hos 12:4 Indeed, he struggled with the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication to him. He found him at Bethel, and there he spoke with us,
Hos 12:5 even Yahweh, the God of Armies; Yahweh is his name of renown!
Hos 12:6 Therefore turn to your God. Keep kindness and justice, and wait continually for your God.
Hos 12:7 A merchant has dishonest scales in his hand. He loves to defraud.
Hos 12:8 Ephraim said, "Surely I have become rich, I have found myself wealth. In all my wealth they won't find in me any iniquity that is sin."
Hos 12:9 "But I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt. I will yet again make you dwell in tents, as in the days of the solemn feast.
Hos 12:10 I have also spoken to the prophets, and I have multiplied visions; and by the ministry of the prophets I have used parables.
Hos 12:11 If Gilead is wicked, surely they are worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls. Indeed, their altars are like heaps in the furrows of the field.
Hos 12:12 Jacob fled into the country of Aram, and Israel served to get a wife, and for a wife he tended flocks and herds.
Hos 12:13 By a prophet Yahweh brought Israel up out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved.
Hos 12:14 Ephraim has bitterly provoked anger. Therefore his blood will be left on him, and his Lord will repay his contempt.

Dec. 14
1 John 4

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, don't believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
1Jn 4:3 and every spirit who doesn't confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already.
1Jn 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.
1Jn 4:5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak of the world, and the world hears them.
1Jn 4:6 We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God doesn't listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.
1Jn 4:8 He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love.
1Jn 4:9 By this God's love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.
1Jn 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love has been perfected in us.
1Jn 4:13 By this we know that we remain in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
1Jn 4:14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world.
1Jn 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16 We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
1Jn 4:17 In this love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world.
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.
1Jn 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
1Jn 4:20 If a man says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who doesn't love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
1Jn 4:21 This commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should also love his brother.

Proverbs, Two invitations 9:1-18, Mark Copeland

                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                        Two Invitations (9:1-18)


1. In his discourses on the value of seeking after wisdom, Solomon has
   varied his approach...
   a. He makes his own appeal as a father to his son and children - cf.
      Pr 1:8; 4:1
   b. He personifies wisdom as a lady who invites people to pay heed
      - cf. Pr 1:20; 8:1

2. His final discourse presents a picture of two women, both extending
   a. One woman personifies wisdom - Pr 9:1-12
   b. The other personifies folly - Pr 9:13-18

[Whose invitation will we accept?  That of Lady Wisdom, or that of Woman
Folly?  Consider first...]


      1. Her beautiful home:  a large house with seven pillars - Pr 9:1
         a. The number seven suggests to many the idea of completeness
         b. Compare the seven-fold qualities of wisdom described by
            James - Jm 3:17
      2. Her sumptuous feast:  meat and wine, a furnished table - Pro
         a. Carefully prepared
         b. Beautifully presented
      -- Lady Wisdom has made great effort in making provisions

   B. HER PLEA...
      1. She wants to be heard - Pr 9:3
         a. She has sent out her maidens (reminding us of Jesus, sending
            His apostles)
         b. She cries out from the highest places of the city
      2. She invites the simple and those who lack understanding - Pro
         a. To eat and drink of her prepared feast
         b. To forsake foolishness and live, to go in the way of
      3. Why She won't invite scoffers - Pr 9:7-9
         a. Correcting a scoffer only shames and harms the one doing the
         b. The wise and just, however, appreciate and will learn from
      -- Lady Wisdom makes great effort to reach those who will listen

      1. Wisdom and understanding - Pr 9:10
         a. To those who fear the Lord
         b. To those who know the Lord
      2. Long life - Pr 9:11; cf. 3:2,16
         a. Days will be multiplied
         b. Years will be added
      3. To benefit one's self - Pr 9:12
         a. Wisdom will bless one's self (for you will have God's aid)
         b. Scorn, on the other hand, will hurt one's self (for you will
            bear things alone)
      -- Lady Wisdom wants you to have the best life possible!

[The invitation of Lady Wisdom is really quite tempting (in a good way).
Especially when we carefully consider the alternative...]


      1. She really makes no preparation
      2. Instead, she is "loud; she is seductive and knows nothing"
         (ESV) - Pr 9:13
      3. The Believers' Bible Commentary describes her as "loudmouthed,
         empty-headed, and brazenfaced"
      -- Compare her lack of preparation with that of Lady Wisdom

   B. HER PLEA...
      1. She sits at the door of her house - Pr 9:14a
         a. Unlike Lady Wisdom
         b. Who sent out Her maidens to be heard
      2. She sits on a high seat by the highest places of the city - Pro
         a. Where Lady Wisdom also cries out - cf. Pr 9:3
         b. Note that Woman Folly cries out from a seated position
      3. She calls to those who pass by - Pr 9:15-16
         a. Especially the simple
         b. And those who lack understanding
      -- Woman Folly competes with Lady Wisdom for the souls of men

      1. That stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is
         pleasant - Pr 9:17
         a. An allusion to illicit intercourse - cf. Pr 5:15
         b. But it is a false promise - cf. Pr 20:17; 5:3-5
      2. The true promise is unknown to the simple lacking understanding
         - Pr 9:18
         a. Her home is the house of the dead - cf. Pr 2:18-19
         b. Her house is the way to hell - cf. Pr 5:5; 7:27
      -- Woman Folly, known best for her adulterous ways, promises much
         but delivers the worst life possible!


1. Whose invitation shall we accept...?
   a. That of Lady Wisdom, who has prepared much and delivers what she
   b. Or that of Woman Folly, who promises much and delivers the
   c. The choice should be obvious, even to the simple and those lacking

2. Thus ends the discourses of Solomon...
   a. Designed to encourage the acquisition of wisdom
   b. Illustrating the superiority of wisdom over folly

In our next study, we will continue our survey of Proverbs using a
topical approach...