The pursuit of God is for all times

9:30 a.m. Monday January 17, 2022. 42F/6C.

Rubber flip flops were chosen for the task of wading through the storm water trench. Toes turn cold rapidly. But next to the trench, a sapling of a loblolly pine has bent in two and is frozen in place, its top trapped in the snow. The pine is rescued, brushed off, shook out, and watched. Water is freely flowing and bubbling through the trench. Since it covers all toes, it must be deeper than the estimated half inch of water. Slowly, the tiny tree takes on its former stature. Most of its needles are still intact. A dance is made in exit from the icy waters. The snow sparkles in the morning sun. The woodpecker must be busy elsewhere because no cackling can be heard. Only the crows are busy sounding off as they watch from the trees near the creek. Back in the cabin are a warm pair of slippers and the aroma of hot tea. God is good.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty nine

Abba Father, please guide us with your wisdom as we study your word, the Bible. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Ezekiel did not organize his record of prophecies chronologically, but by type of prophecy. The next prophecy against Egypt was given to him seventeen years later than the first one. He kept them side by side.

And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

It was roughly 570 BC. Jerusalem had fallen to Nebuchadnezzar. Tyre had fallen to Nebuchadnezzar.

Of Note: Ezekiel spelled king Nebuchadnezzar as Nebuchadrezzar. He spelled the city of Tyre as Tyrus.

Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it.

According to God, the king of Babylonia was not conquering lands by his own decision, but by God’s decision. Therefore the king and his army were due wages for destroying Tyrus.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army.

Note that God did not offer wages to the king for destroying Jerusalem, or for attacking any other land. But Tyrus was unique. A spirit king dwelled in Tyrus and God had a personal score to settle with the spirit king. Also unique about Tyrus was the lack of the phrase “they will know that I am the LORD”. Tyrus already knew God.

God announced the wages that Babylonia would earn.

I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD.

Egypt, God said would be a tidy reward for the warrior king.

Nebuchadnezzar’s historian wrote on a stele that Babylonia won the battle against Egypt and plundered the land of its treasures. The pharaoh’s historian wrote on a stele that Egypt won the battle against Babylonia and sent her army packing. While pharaoh felt that Egypt did defend herself well, he still recorded quite a bit loss of life and loss of treasures. Nebuchadnezzar recorded few losses and his treasure house swelled.

But then God added a hint of mystery after all was said.

In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

That day, the horn of the house of Israel would sprout, and Ezekiel’s mouth would be opened in their midst, and they would know that YHWH is God. Ezekiel already had his voice back. What in the world did God mean? What is the horn of Israel? Is it the strength of Israel? Or is it the ark of the covenant? The ark of God’s covenant had been Israel’s strength in ancient battles.

The Jewish mercenaries of Egypt’s Elephantine island had been writing to the Jews back home. Their letters written on clay tiles, have been found. They inquired of the exact measurements of the Jerusalem temple, in order to build an exact duplicate temple in Egypt on Elephantine. If the Jews of the temple knew about the temple plans, Ezekiel would have known as well. Why would a temple be needed on Elephantine? A synagogue would have sufficed! Unless, of course, IF the Elephantine Jews possessed the ark of the covenant. In which case, they would have built a temple.

The prophecy says that in the day of the strength of the house of Israel, Ezekiel would open his mouth and speak.

That sounds like a future prophecy, an end days prophecy. It could be a match for Revelation 11:3

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

One of the two witnesses might be Ezekiel, or another man whose life is somehow patterned after Ezekiel.

God does give us mysteries to spur us on to deeper Bible study.

Life in the hollow, Monday

There is a lively debate among the Wikipedia editors. One editor changes author Graham Hancock’s bio to read that he was a “pseudoscientist”. The next editor complains that such opinions are unwelcome and changes the entry to read “researcher”. Back and forth it goes, with daily changes to the entry.

I think all Wikipedia is pseudoinformation. It’s one of the few easily accessible information sources and it’s being run by very questionable people.

The only truth in the world is from God. And sometimes, even he throws a prophecy in the mix that has layers and layers of meaning.

It just spurs us on to pursue him more.

Regarding prophets and snowflakes

10 a.m. Sunday January 16, 2022. 40F/4C.

Snow rests in thick layers across the trees, and on the roof of the greenhouse. Even the clothesline bears a thick mass of white. The shrubby trees near the creek, the cedar, the dogwood and the redbud are bent over to display well-outlined fans of pure white. Jet planes fly overhead. Their roaring is absorbed by the silencing snow. The sun is shining through spots of clouds. The snow pulled from a different set of colors this morning. It created layers of tones across the forest. There is the close-up white, which only covers the tree branches on one side. The side not covered is deeply black, granting an appearance of an intricately drawn coloring book. The next layer, deeper into the forest, is golden, as it reflects golden light from the sun that slowly rises above the eastern ridge. The furthest layer is still in the shadow of clouds. The western mountain is a shadowy blue-gray behind all the layers. The woodpecker and the turkey are cackling in their morning rituals, their daily competition of voices. One day there were only bare trees in the forest, and the next day, there is a temporary landscape of stunning beauty and glimmering colors.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty nine

Abba Father, grant us your wisdom as we read in your word, the Bible. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

There are so many layers of meanings in chapter twenty nine of Ezekiel. The chapter seems deeply spiritual and obviously inspired. When God prophesied forty years of desolation and captivity for Egypt from the migdol of Syene to the border of Ethiopia, it sent me on a journey through every migdol (tower, plateau) at every river (Nile, tributaries and distributaries, Suez Canal), controlled by pride and a river monster, that could be found. Every instance of finding a river, a monster, and a migdol seemed to bear marks of the prophecy in an extraordinary way!

I am lead to believe that the prophecy is for multiple eras, once for Ezekiel’s day and at least once, if not more, for the future.

Continuing on with the future of Egypt after its forty years of desolation and exile…

It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: For I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.

Egypt would exist, as a humbled nation. It would be a part of another dominion. It would no longer be lifted up above other nations. God would slice off some of the land of Egypt, because they crumbled other nations to rule them.

And Egypt has remained. Down through the eras, it was frequently subject to other nations. Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, Rome, Ottoman, and all had their finger on Egypt, humbling the nation.

And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Egypt would no more control Judah or even be an influencer. It would no longer be able or willing to send troops to Jerusalem and fight off invaders. Jerusalem, the city of crossroads, would have every gate broken down. Until the gates could be repaired, Egypt, Babylonia, and any other army, could march across the city unobstructed toward any other land.

Old testament prophets struggled to get their messages out. Because, oh, no, the nations did not want to believe a prophet of God. He was just spouting off nonsense, trying to get attention. They paid him no mind.

There was that phrase, which God used so often. He only used the phrase when repentance was possible for the people of the nation:

…they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Snowflakes from the World Atlas website (link below)
Life in the hollow, Sunday

I’m staying in today. Except for a short trip outdoors to check on a few things, it is a “stay indoors” sort of day. I both pray and declare against this weather modification. God, for his own reasons, wanted this snow. It’s a good day to praise and worship in song indoors.

I long for real snow. As a child, my dad would take the family for rides when it was snowing. I had nothing to do but to stare out the car window and compare snowflakes. I occupied my bored mind by seeing if I could find one snowflake that matched another. In those days, we went to school and bragged to our classmates what large, perfectly formed snowflakes we saw.

World Atlas says the largest recorded snowflake was 15 inches wide. Wow. That makes Craig’s 2-inch snowflake believable!

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/did-you-know-the-largest-snowflake-ever-recorded-was-15-inches-wide.html

Within the past year, newspapers and television newscasters have reported that “conspiracy theorists” are claiming that certain snows have been man made.

But if you witnessed an unusual snow, I ask you… When did you last see an actual snowflake?

Because, oh, no, the nation’s influencers would not want to give credence to the eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses might just be trying to get attention, you know. It’s rumored that we even think we talk to God, and he answers!

I have a few words to the influencers of our generation: Deception is wide spread and most everyone, including you, are deceived. There is no “strength of the indomitable human spirit”. That’s God who strengthens us. It’s Jesus who saves us. It’s repentance that will heal our land.

Most of us, even us Christians, even me and you, in this era, have been somehow, somewhere, deceived.

And right now. Our God is proving that he is God. Watch for it. It’ll be good.

Please, dear reader, retain the ability to repent and be saved.

Many layers of mystery

6:00 a.m. Saturday January 15, 2022. 46F/8C.

Rain, glorious beautiful large rain falls on the cabin, falls on humans and on animals and on birds and on bare trees and on the small basal starts of the oxeye daisy that are poking up out of the sandy soil. The rain has a special aroma. It is that of washed branches and wet sand. Looking up only earns a splatter on glasses that persists for a couple of minutes. A sweater was chosen for walking out of doors, to be a shield from the cold. The sweater has proven itself to be a very good wick for the large raindrops. Each of the huge drops of water that hit the shoulders are absorbed and their coldness distributed across the skin. The storm water trench is full of brown swirling water and many leaf dams. A mist is rising over the forest. When those large drops fall all the way through the sky, they stir up moisture and sand at their collision with the ground. They leave craters a half inch wide. They bounce some of themselves back up into the air, as much as eight feet up. The mist of the rain rests on the whole forest.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty nine

Abba, our Father in heaven, may your holy name always be praised. Let us enjoy your understanding as we read through your word, the Bible. Reveal to us more of you. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Chapter twenty nine is the first of four chapters of prophecy against Egypt.

When the prophet received his voice back, the same year his wife died, another transition also occurred in his narrative. Ezekiel’s stubborn faithfulness to God, even as he suffered, deepened into a relationship of trust between the man and God. God began to reveal more than just the things Ezekiel would see in his lifetime. God revealed things deep into the future and deeply spiritual.

And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.

Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered:

And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom.

Egypt would be desolate and surrounded by countries that were also desolate. There would be a dispersing of Egyptians throughout the world. And Egypt would be a wasteland for forty years. At the end of forty years, the people would return to Pathros (modern Egypt). The kingdom would be captive and lack its former glory.

The prophecy is problematic because it does not match our knowledge of Egyptian history.

Egypt and surrounding countries turned into a desert a very long time before the birth of Ezekiel. It is even more of a desert today than it was in Ezekiel’s day, due to the cutting of canals and the use of dams along the river. The land between the Nile and the Red Sea was, and still is, a desert.

As for the Egyptians? Babylonia took captives from every nation they fought. It was a sort of war trophy for Nebuchadnezzar to have a parade past his palace of captive souls. So, some Egyptians were taken to other nations.

But … Consider … Elephantine island.

During this time Elephantine Island still thrived. The long narrow rocky island in the Nile river near Syene was prone to seasonal flooding, as was the entire community of Syene, modern Aswan. The island was used like a fort to guard the community. Was that a tower/migdol of Syene?

A number of ancient Hebrew people fled from the idol worship found in the northern kingdom of Israel. They went to live in the southern kingdom of Judah, in Jerusalem. Roughly around 600 BC, they left Judah, as if by divine inspiration, just as Nebuchadnezzar planned the siege of Jerusalem. They traveled and lived on Elephantine island in Egypt. They worked as soldiers for hire who guarded Syene.

AND…

One rumor says that they possessed the famed Jewish ark of the covenant while they resided on Elephantine island.

What do you think about that Indiana Jones?

A group of mercenaries carrying the power of God would have been an attractive hire in that day. Or would it? Another rumor says that the ark was taken from the Jerusalem temple to Ethiopia nearly 300 years earlier by Menelik. Menelik was the son of king Solomon and the queen Makeda of Sheba. Was the ark stolen from Ethiopia in Ezekiel’s day by zealous Jews who were attempting to carry it back to Jerusalem for the battle against Nebuchadnezzar? Why did they stop at Elephantine island for nearly fifty years? Were they unable to stand the chaos they created by moving the ark, and finally returned it to Ethiopia where it was safe? If that is so, they helped God fulfill his judgment on both Jerusalem and Egypt.

The Ethiopian ark of the covenant is in Aksum, Ethiopia today, along with detailed history that began about 950 BC.

All I can say is that the prophecy of Ezekiel 29 has so many and varied layers that anything is possible. With each layer of meaning that is uncovered, there exists, under that layer, another separate layer of meaning. I haven’t even begun to investigate the exiled Egyptians who would not stay in Egypt while Nasser ruled the country in the 1950’s, but whose children returned after his death many years later. Nasser involved Egypt in the building of the Suez canal.

When Ezekiel clearly displayed his determination to do as God instructed, God opened a new level of existence to him.

Life in the hollow, Saturday

Much of my research came from my memory of Graham Hancock’s study of the Elephantine island Jews. I researched and found little. This particular prophecy of Ezekiel is like an earthquake with hundreds of foreshocks and thousands of aftershocks. It does not appear to have been fulfilled in entirety.

And so I went outside, emptied the composting, and got wet.

Ezekiel didn’t just wake up one day to discover that he was a prophet with a deep connection to God. His whole life was a journey to God.

Ezekiel reminds me that I didn’t get my peaceful life in the hollow by simply walking into it. I proved my love for God. It was NOT a well made proof, but it was made. I cursed all the way through it, but he did accept it. He took me out of my chaos and placed me in a cabin in the peace of a forest. And he let me clean up my language here.

That is just one of the many layers of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit that I know about. There is so much more to our God. So much more.

He has many layers of mystery. Be blessed. Thank you for reading.

In one glance

Understanding at the right time

It’s odd: the trees in this spot seem to all slant uphill.

7:00 a.m. Thursday January 13, 2022. 36F/2C.

There is nothing like clean cold air to wake the body early in the morning. The crows are cawing without stop as the grogginess of sleep wears off. The cabin is quite warm, but not hard to leave. No ice is accumulated on the porch or steps. Thin dark branches of a half dozen trees are gnarled and entwined before a pale blue sky. The winter cold is tolerable, but fingers still ache as water splashes over the bucket being washed. The balance of bitter and sweet is just right today. The new platform for composting grants a magnificent view of the creek and all the life it attracts to it. The water for washing buckets is ice cold.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty nine

Abba Father, I request that you let your love and your wisdom flow down like a cleansing rain over all who study your word, the Bible, and over all who love your word, your son, Jesus. Amen.

As Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia advanced his armies through the middle east and surrounding nations, God went with him and used him to execute judgments. God used the voice of Ezekiel to correct and warn the nations and the regions. Chapter twenty nine is the first of four chapters devoted to the judgment of Egypt.

But if you know me, I have to seek out the oddities. This chapter has one… or several.

Egypt had been a staff of reed, or an easily bent and broken staff, for Jerusalem to steady herself with. Egypt had a river monster who was closely associated with the pharaoh and the land. The river monster had claimed creation and ownership of the rivers, when they were actually God’s creation.

The oddities begin:

Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.

No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.

God was about to use Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Egypt. Was he successful? Babylonian historians said it was a roaring success. Egyptian historians claimed that Egypt prevailed. Battles raged in Assyria and Judah, which had been Egyptian territories. Nebuchadnezzar won most of those battles and territories.

But “from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia”?

In general, God probably described the African sea coast along the Red Sea.

A mystery? I searched for Syene. It might have been modern Aswan. There was no record of an ancient place known as “the tower of Syene”. Perhaps God meant a city known as Migdol, which meant raised land or tower. And perhaps God meant “seven” when he said syrene, meaning the numerical reference, or the number of completeness, instead the city.

Her Veil? Market? Seven? Opening? Outstanding was the issue of a tower/migdol of Syene. Was that a reference to some spiritual mystery? A migdol was a plateau or a bed or a fortified land. Syene was a word with multiple meanings: her veiling, market, seven, and opening. After much searching, this finally came together in one piece of information: The ancient Nile, during flood season, split into seven distributary rivers at the bed, the migdol, of the delta, where it opened onto the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile delta fits the meaning of a migdol of Syene.

While Nebuchadnezzar was indeed God’s instrument of judgment against Egypt in the middle east, in Ezekiel’s day, this prophecy was never fulfilled without loose ends on the African continent.

Why?

Yes, the Babylonians invaded Egypt in northeastern Africa around 567 BCE, but the only success was that they plundered the land, took captives, slew some of the army, and retreated. They took produce. They took treasures. They left a memorable mess, which may have taken forty years for the pharaoh to repair while Nebuchadnezzar collected taxes from him, but…

neither shall it be inhabited.” The people of the coastal land would have been weakened by invaders, and entire villages may have moved to compensate, but history does not note a total abandonment of that region.

A portion of the prophecy was fulfilled in Ezekiel’s lifetime, but not in a tidy manner. It may mean that it will happen in the future. The prophecy of Ezekiel 29, may have had a dual purpose. It may be written both about the past and about the future, by a God who is able to observe all events in time, in one glance.

A coincidence or an unintentional reference to prophecy? Today, there is are two notable towers, right next to river monsters, in Egypt. One is the lotus flower tower, next to the two-mile long monster of a dam in Aswan. The other was once the tallest structure in Africa, a powerline tower, next to a 120-mile long monster of a man made canal, the Suez. Both are monsters of Egyptian creation and control entire rivers.

We will know, when the last days finally arrive, what God meant. Here is my personal take on prophecy: it is meant to be hope for the generation who must endure it. If it is understood too soon, the generation for whom it was written might lose sight of the special nature of God’s message of hope to them. By design, prophecy is to be read and understood at a crucial time. So if we read and remember that the words are there, at our crucial time, we will know where God’s message waits for us.

Life in the hollow, Thursday

Wow! It took maybe four hours to read two verses today. At first, it looked like there was some mystery being revealed by this prophecy. Then it looked ordinary. Then it went back to mysterious. Isn’t that how prophecy is!!?!!

God is taking me deeper into spiritual warfare, into places I never suspected even existed. I am tested on all sides. And for reasons that I don’t care to divulge at the moment, I’ve been stuck at home for about a month with nothing to do but read the Bible.

Heh heh. God’s message waits for me and for you.

May the grace of our God be abundantly granted to you dear reader. May you know the joy of living in his great peace.

Nest

That big nest is not firm enough for a bird nest. Squirrel, maybe?

7:30 a.m. Wednesday January 12, 2022. 34F/1C.

Whether the woodpecker or the turkey is the loudest bird in the forest, one can never say. The turkey, having been awakened by one or two crows, hops a few inches away from the trunk of a great tree and announces that his sleep was interrupted by the crows. This in turn wakes the small brown winter birds and they begin to chatter in their single toned voices. The hawks awaken and irritably squawk back. The squirrel scampers in his jittery style. Of course, the ever present woodpecker rises to out-cackle the turkey. For a few moments, the two sound very much alike. Fingers become too cold to listen to the performance for more than a couple of minutes. In the end, the turkey spreads his great wings, and creates a echoing noise of furious flapping that can be heard in all directions. Only the woodpecker is left to laugh loudly and cackle as he settles in to inspect the trunk of a nearly dead tree. Neighbors cannot be fully awake, or may have already left their houses, because there is little wood smoke clinging to the hollow. No doubt the ones who can afford the time simply stay under their quilts while summoning the strength to brave the cold and fetch another chunk of wood. The cabin has its comforts as well. A cup of steamy sweet tea warms the nose and hands.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty nine

Abba Father, lead us and surround us with understanding of your word, the Bible, as we read. Bless this cup of tea to wake me up and this recliner for my rest. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

God turned his attention to Egypt. Egypt had a love-hate relationship with the Jews. Egypt was where the children of Israel learned immoral acts of idolatry. Egypt once loved God’s people and a few years later, hated those same chosen people.

And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.

Egypt had been a powerhouse nation, but its power was declining while they claimed to still be strong. Jerusalem had been encircled by Nebuchadnezzar. While the Jews were unable to build up their own defenses, they leaned on Egypt as a man would lean on a staff. But the staff of Egypt was no more than a staff of grass, or reed. Egypt was claiming power but really comfortably hiding in its home behind the Nile from Nebuchadnezzar.

When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand.

When the Jews took hold of the staff made of reed, the staff bent, broke, and shattered. The people leaning on the staff got torn muscles in their shoulders and their strained upper legs wobbled from trying to re-balance. That’s no way to treat a nation under siege! Their shoulders were needed to wield a sword and throw a spear. Balance was needed for hand to hand combat. That physical infirmity was a description of the poor military assistance offered by Egypt to Judah, even while Egyptians claimed Judah as their possession, and collected taxes from her!

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee.

And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it.

The Lord would send an army to match Egypt’s army. Men, and Egypt’s well loved animals, would die. Egypt would be the nation in need for a period of time.

Egypt was the land of multiple gods. They even elevated their animals to gods. One of those animal gods, a monster of the Nile associated with the pharaoh, had claimed that he created and owned the Nile. While the monster of the Nile may have nested in those waters, he was not its creator. God was the creator.

There would be no rest for the war-weary Jews. God avenged himself by laying waste to that god of the Nile. He wanted the people of Egypt to know that our God, YHWH, was and always is, the one true God.

Life in the hollow, Wednesday

I am resting today. For no notable reason it feels necessary.

The scripture seems to be saying today that we should not lean or depend upon any man or any government, but upon God himself.

Because of that, and because of my weariness, today is a day for me to stay in my nest. It is pleasant here in this place God created. As long as he provides the peace and playfulness of the forest, I will rest.

Be blessed, dear reader. May we all know the courage of Jesus in the day of our need. May we have the indwelling Spirit to always guide. May we love the Father beyond all love imaginable all our lives. Amen.

A fossil

The right side of the rock has a translucent appearing fin stuck to it

7:15 a.m. Tuesday January 11, 2022. 30F/-1C.

Steam rises up off freshly washed laundry as it is hung outdoors on the nylon line. The more steam rises, the faster the laundry will dry. Everything will freeze stiff and solid, and slowly it will dry out. The sun and the dry cold air is remarkable like that. Deep breathing is easy in the cool air. Its aroma is sweet and slightly smokey. The sun makes the cold tolerable. There are no planes overhead spraying clouds into the sky. The birds are among the first to celebrate the absence of the planes. They coo and squawk and cackle and caw all up and down the banks of the creek. The birds are not active when the planes are present. The creek is lively as well. Its noise is like a musical instrument. Its notes get played one after the other in no particular order. With all its chaos, its melody is still quite lovely and true.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty nine

Abba Father, I humbly beseech thee to provide guidance with your Holy Spirit as we read your word, the Bible. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

In the days before Moses, when Joseph and his brothers and father lived in Egypt, they were welcomed by the Egyptians as a help to the people. But later, the Egyptians turned against the Hebrews until God raised up Moses to deliver them out of Egypt. Fast forwarding to Ezekiel’s day, God recalled the Hebrew’s time in Egypt and used Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar to strike Egypt as well as many other nations.

In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Son of man, set they face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt:

It was about ten years into Ezekiel’s calling as a prophet, somewhere near 580 BCE. Ezekiel was to turn toward Egypt and speak a prophecy against the great house of the king of Egypt and all the nation.

Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.

That’s a little confusing. Did the king think himself to be a god? Or a crocodile? Or a dragon? Some pharaohs were viewed as gods. Some were viewed as connections to the gods. Some were simply thought to be members of the elite class of Egyptians. Since the Egyptians had many gods, any answer is possible. It seems most likely that the king of Egypt was believed to be closely associated with a river spirit who made and owned the Nile river.

Of further interest: some ancient Egyptian royals have been depicted in a manner that did not look quite human and yet did not look like any animal. These Egyptian royals had protruding stomachs and elongated skulls. The ones lacking this appearance went to great lengths to dress as though they had the elongated skull and extended stomach. These royals were more often associated with superhuman gods. Who knows what they really were?

The Egyptians loved their animals and likely associated their king with a spirit animal. God could deal with a spirit monster of the waters. He could catch the dragon as a man catches fish.

But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.

And it sounds like God is saying that he could use the monster’s scales as bait and tackle for catching a whole Nile full of fishes.

And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven.

Just as a fisherman might toss a worthless fish to the fields, to be eaten by birds or to become fertilizer for the ground, God would toss the river spirit into a dry field, and all the fish he caught with it. Some fishermen would rather that than to leave the worthless fish in the water to breed more of its kind.

Whatever the meaning, God intended to deal with the Egyptians.

Life in the hollow, Tuesday

There was a rock along the roadside that looked stark white, like flint. When I picked it up, it had something like a fish fin embedded in it.

A fossilized fish fin! How cool is that?

I did not research the river gods of Egypt very far, because an idol is an idol. All the river gods are looking like fossils to me. They’re gone forever. We do still have their imprint on culture.

What’s most important is not the fossil; it is the fact that our God is still God!

In the nick of time; just before it got worse

There is an excess of ice and mud around the cabin

7 a.m. Monday January 10, 2022. 28F/-2C.

Upon stepping outdoors a lovely tinkling sound is noted, as if some wind chime is freely moving, but no wind chime exists at the cabin. The sound is followed down the driveway, which is heavily eroded and encased in ice. Water flows freely in channels under a clear sheet of ice. At one point, the water drops off one stone and runs through a hole in the ice to strike another. For such a small stream of water, it certainly makes a loud chiming sound. Looking around, the storm water trench is frozen over and drying rapidly. There is a dam of frozen sand and leaves at the very beginning of the trench and water is about to run into the cabin. Turkeys in the dense shrub between the cabin and the creek begin cackling loudly, just as the ice dam is noticed. A mere dozen shovelfuls of frozen debris are moved and water flows rapidly into the trench. The turkeys are quiet. Fingers and toes ache with cold on the walk through channels of mud back to the cabin. Savory bean soup has bubbled all night. It will soothe the mind, and thaw the fingers.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty eight

Abba, continue to guide us please as we read through your word, the Bible. Show your servants your mercy. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

God had the exiled prophet-priest Ezekiel to prophesy against the city and region of Tyrus. Then God had him sing a funeral dirge over Tyrus. After that, a prophecy and lamentation over the prince and king of Tyrus was given. Finally, a prophecy against Sidon, or Zidon, the seaport island of Tyrus was delivered.

Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it,

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.

At the beginning of that prophecy, God stated the purpose of the judgment: That the people would know that YHWH is God. He had not said that to Tyrus. Tyrus already knew that simple fact. He did say at the end of every prophecy to Jerusalem and Judah that his purpose was to show the people that he, YHWH was God.

It was a hard lesson, but a needed one. Idolatry of the people led to wickedness of the people. God could not ignore the rampant wickedness. He used the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar to deliver judgments in many regions.

For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her street; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

The time for mercy had ended long before Nebuchadnezzar arrived. Sidon would be destroyed after Tyrus was destroyed. God sent disease into Sidon, and then infections from battle wounds. He prophesied it. He was and is God. It would happen.

And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

No more would Sidon be a thorn in the side of the children of Israel. Sidon would know that YHWH was God of all.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.

At the end of the prophecies against Sidon and Tyrus was a word of hope to the remnant of the house of Israel: After the people are re-gathered, after they declare God is holy and they live in holiness in front of all unbelieving people, then they will settle in the land that was promised to Jacob/Israel.

And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.

There was the reason that all the chaos and war and judgment happened. God was and is making a safe refuge for the few righteous people who do not desire wickedness, who do not worship idols, who wish for life in peace and safety, who know that he is GOD.

Life in the hollow, Monday

Last night was interesting. Chapter twenty eight of Ezekiel could be called a cursed section of the Bible for anyone who would dare copy and write the verses or record a commentary on the verses. (By the way, Job is another cursed section of the Bible.) I’m not saying don’t read those sections, just be ready.

Whether the night’s events were my imagination or reality, I cannot say.

I had all kinds of trouble sleeping and finally when I did doze halfway off, I heard a male voice repeating the words, “but she mocked me.” Another male voice interrupted my sleep and said to me, “Satan has requested to test you.” To which I was startled awake and said aloud, “No. He has already tested me. There is nothing more to prove.”

“but she mocked me,” the voice said as I drifted back off. My jaw became increasingly hot, and I kept waking in an attempt to locate the source of the heat. It was cold in the cabin and no heat source against my jaw could be found. I worried that a nagging toothache would be worse, but I wanted mostly to sleep.

I associated the accusing voice with my reading and writing of the book of Ezekiel, chapter 28, verses 11-19, the judgment of the king of Tyrus. I stated aloud, again to a dark cabin, “I merely rewrote, in modern language, what the Lord said, and commented on it. Those were the Lord’s words.”

Falling back asleep, I dreamed that some man was taking me on tours of different lands, all night long.

In the morning, the final dream of the night was of a man, someone I actually once knew. He was a smart man, but very full of himself, someone given to outbursts of anger over the ignorance of others and over his rights. He was being escorted to his home by some strong men. He acted meek, shamed, as if knowing he was wrong about his latest tirade, but unwilling to speak of it.

And that nagging toothache is better, in fact my jaw has not hurt all morning.

With all that oddity behind me, I have a strange sensation of safety today.

Blessings be to all who read, in the name of our savior Jesus.

God created them all

I built a platform of concrete blocks for the composting barrels. This is the view from the platform. From here and from the porch, the creek is visible.

10:30 a.m. Sunday January 9, 2022. 52F/11C.

Outdoor chores need to be done quickly, because the temperature is dropping rapidly. A heavy composting barrel is tried with the edge of a shovel. One push and it barely wiggles. The shovel is re-situated. Misty rain falls on shirt and shoulders. It won’t stay as hot as fifty-five degrees for long. Another push and the barrel walks backwards an inch. The shovel is turned so that its hits the barrel midway up, above its center of gravity. The third push turns the barrel over and the composted material tumbles from inside. It’s a good plan when it works. The compost emits an odor that is earthy and clean. Six months in a black barrel was a working idea. A crow watches from overhead. It caws as though it wants all its relatives to go through the dumped compost, but there are no worms in the barrel this time. It can be easily raked out and set back upright. One adult of the deer herd is raising her voice repeatedly, as though in warning that a human has left its wooden nest and is wandering outside. From the platform where the barrels are, the creek can be seen. Its waters gurgle and slosh around a tree root, creating bubbles that form a tidy white line as they move downstream.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty eight

Abba Father, I follow your guidance. Let no wickedness enter my heart. In the name of Jesus, guide us as we read your word, the Bible. Amen.

Verse eleven of chapter twenty eight began a lamentation for the king of Tyrus. Tyrus was that city that Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to and took, right after he took Jerusalem. Tyrus was a city of trade, sales and moving products. Tyrus had an island seaport, providing a level of security for the goods on ships. But Tyrus also had a dark secret.

I will tell what this chapter made me think. You can pray over it and decide for yourself what is right. The commander or the prince of Tyrus at its fall, was a man, likely a Jew, who made a sacrifice to an idol that was so awful, so perfect in its innocence, that an evil entity possessed the Jew. There is a hint that he was a Levite, of a family of priests. There is a hint that the man who was possessed was also a prophet of God who turned evil. Prophets do not always lose their prophetic gift when they turn evil. It seems that the commander or prince of the city of Tyrus had a prophetic gift, which he still used even after he rejected God.

That may have been the commander or prince of Tyrus. Tyrus no longer had kings in the day of its fall. BUT God had Ezekiel sing a funeral song, a lamentation to the KING of Tyrus. Interesting, eh?

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

“Ben Aw-Dawm”, or “son of Adam”, or “human being”, God called Ezekiel by his nickname for the man. “Sing a funeral dirge over the king of Tyrus. Say, the Lord YHWH says, ‘A full measure of wisdom was sealed into you, along with a complete and perfect beauty.’” The word “complete” also meant a perfect sacrifice, totally consumed. In other words, that king lacked nothing before God.

Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Whoa! Our God said, “You existed in Eden, the garden of gods.” By gods, he appeared to mean our God along with the word of God, his Spirit, the angels, the host and all the living beings of God’s creation. “Every single valuable stone and gold adorned you. The craftsmanship of your tambourine and the settings for your jewels were crafted for you on the day you were created.”

When I read of a living being with a built-in tambourine, I think of native American jingle dresses. Each time a woman wearing a jingle dress moves, she, well, jingles. Little bells make music and the music gets more obvious as she dances. Of course her dance is meant to make even more music.

And so Ezekiel described a living creature, a being whose skin or scales were created with gold and stones that made music when he walked, and possibly even more music when he danced and worshiped God.

Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

That sounds like our adversary satan, the prince of evil spirits. God said, “You are the cherub with outstretched wings, the one who protects. I gave you life in the sacred mountain of God. You walked in the midst of the stones of the altar’s fire.”

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

God created Satan to be moral. He was created to dance and make music and enjoy his life in God’s presence, in perfect harmony with God’s plan, in perfect joy before God, in perfect peace serving God. But one day, he decided in his heart that he was able to be God. Such an entity would have known that his desire was impossible, but he wanted it anyway.

By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Because of the abundance of trade in Tyrus, they filled the city with violence for satan. Satan sinned. God wounded satan further by restricting his entrance to the mountain of God on earth. He was no longer allowed to pretend to dance in the stones of the fire of God’s altar, where he was privy to information about men.

That would remove his wisdom about the things men did.

The mountain of God in the days of Moses was called Horeb or Sinai. It was situated between Jerusalem and Egypt. It was a desert area that wicked men thought to escape to when running from the wrath of God. Interesting, again. Well. Satan was no longer there.

Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

Your heart soared, satan, because you were beautiful beyond man’s comprehension. You have caused your own wisdom to decay. God would throw you down in your splendor. On earth, you will face kings and they will see you.

Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

More or less, it was said, “Satan you defiled any sanctuary that you inhabited by being so perverse and by the evil that you sold.” Was that a reference to human slavery and suffering? So, God would set a fire in the midst of where satan dwelled. It would reduce everything left, to ashes settling upon dirt, in the sight of all who knew the king of Tyrus. Every Jew who saw the destruction of Tyrus would be stunned at the fate of the entity who had been so powerful.

Life in the hollow, Sunday

While I read and worked on this passage of Ezekiel, “stuff” kept happening. I was so happy to be done with this message from God.

I’m thinking Ezekiel was happy to be done with it as well.

The temperature has dropped to 49F in a few minutes. Clothes hangers, a command hook holding a broom, a box of CDs, have all independently fallen, crashing to the ground. The devil is making me suspicious of everything in my cabin, in return for writing about his fall from the mountain of God.

I can only imagine what Ezekiel’s gut reaction might have been, if God had said, “I want you to sing a funeral dirge over satan.” But Ezekiel did exactly and said exactly and sang exactly what God instructed. Satan is not an entity for us to mess with. Our God is even stronger than satan.

Repent before God the Father, believe in the finished work of Jesus, his only begotten son, accept the indwelling Holy Spirit, and God will grant us all protection from any entity he created.

Hint: he created them all.

Did he have a name? Did anyone care to remember it?

Lichen and false turkey tail on a fallen branch in the wet meadow

11:15 a.m. Saturday January 8, 2022. 40F/4C.

The chill of the air is perfect for walking along a dirt road, over the wet meadow, and back to the cabin. The meadow is soft, but not mushy. One or two flags of bright green new growth stick out from among the brown leaf litter. The trees drop leaves in autumn to protect the young plants that emerge in January. Fine half-disc shapes of false turkey tail have been growing on fallen tree branches. Even after they fall, the trees produce food for moss and lichen and fungus. No birds sing this morning. No crows caw. Only the mooing of a herd of cows carries across the hollow. The tones of the winter landscape are muted browns, blacks, greens and blues. The air is sweet. It is a good day for walking and watching.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty eight

Abba Father, you are strong, mighty and glorious. Please let your Spirit rest on us and guide us as we read your word, the Bible. In the name of Yeshua Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Chapter twenty eight is the third chapter devoted to the fall of the city of Tyrus. Chapter twenty six prophesied its fall, due to the fact that when the residents heard of the fall of Jerusalem, they planned a raid of Jerusalem’s goods, even though they lacked for nothing. Chapter twenty seven was a funeral dirge for Tyrus and its island seaport. In those preceding chapters, God hinted at an eerie spiritual presence in Tyrus. In chapter twenty eight, God calls out the king who must have been under some kind of spiritual influence. God calls the king the prince, or the commander, of Tyrus. God reserved the title of king for some other. Ezekiel told of the next message from God:

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

Well, that’s confusing. God called the regional king a commander, as if he were the commander under some other king. God said that the commander believed he was God. “Because your heart is haughty. Because you said, ‘I am a god. I am the strongest in the place of gods in the heart of the sea.’ yet you are a man, even though you set up yourself as god.”

Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:

Wow. The people of Ezekiel’s day seemed to believe that the Jewish exile named Daniel who worked under king Nebuchadnezzar in the city of Babylon, was the model of wisdom. Even in Tyrus, they knew of the wisdom of Daniel. Daniel indeed was wise because he had supernatural information, which he received from almighty God. If the commander of Tyrus was wiser than Daniel, then here is a hint that the commander was receiving supernatural information from some spirit.

With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:

God’s references to the commander’s wisdom and intellect tells of someone who was once connected to an even greater entity, perhaps God himself. Someone who once had access to God’s wisdom until he decided he was a god. What spirit possessed that commander king? The commander used his intellect to collect silver and gold into his treasure house.

By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:

The commander king of Tyrus had peddled his wisdom, increased his strength, and all that caused more haughtiness. He thought himself smart and strong and therefore better than other men.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;

Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and thy shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.

They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.

The commander believed he was made of the stuff of Gods. To his dismay, the commander would see a stranger, a tyrant king from another nation, bring swords against him and break apart his splendor, his city. The commander would die and go to the pit with the rest of the unrighteous. That’s quite an end to a man who may have begun his career as a righteous servant of God. He certainly was a man who took a turn for the worse, in his effort to be a god.

Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? But thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee.

Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.

Would the commander waste his last breath saying, “I am a god”? Would he look up at the sword about to cut him and say that? Why did God foretell a death with the uncircumcised? Why would a foreign king care about that? Could that commander king have been a descendant of the royal family in Jerusalem? He might have realized he was human after all, just before his body was dumped into the sea.

Life in the hollow, Saturday

At this point in my journey through Ezekiel, I would recommend this book to every Christian I know. I can hardly put it down. It described the physical appearance of God. It convicted me of sin. It has made me fall deeper in love with God. It has revealed to me more of the trials and temptations of the ancient Jewish people. God has power. God has a sassy personality and I like him.

I cannot wait for God to move on my nation. I long to know who among our leaders will repent and accept Jesus as Lord. I long to see God make decisions about the ones who are left as a problem.

Anyway, who sold our nation to satan? Will we remember his or her name or will that person’s body simply be dumped and his or her land cleansed of all sin?

Get on God’s side, people. He is about to move.

There is silence in the night

2:30 a.m. Friday January 7, 2022. 23F/-5C

Cold creeps into the the cabin on a sleepless night. A quick exit is made to the out of doors. The change of environment is sudden and startling. Cold air rests like a canopy over the forest, stunning in its beauty. Stars shine clearly in the night sky. Deep breathing is easy in the heart of the cool dry night. The fragrance of the hour is wood smoke and leaves. The moon, where ever it is, should only be a crescent. Nothing outshines the beautiful stars. The constellation of a dipper is overhead, and slightly west. Animals that are normally busy in the night, are quiet. No owl is calling. No packs of coyote sing their eerie siren-like song. The cold makes everything just a little more apt to stay at home in the nest or the burrow. There is one exception. A human hurries into a cabin and re-emerges with a warm lemony cup of tea and a heavy coat, just to take one more look.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty seven

Abba Father, I humbly beseech thee to hear the intentions of our hearts. Know that you are there in us and we acknowledge your presence. Guide us as we read your word, the Bible. In the name of your son Jesus, I pray. Amen.

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia laid siege to Jerusalem for several years, ending with its destruction around 586 BC. At that point, Nebuchadnezzar moved on over to Tyrus and laid siege there. He surrounded the city of Tyrus for several years until they fell.

God foretold the fall of Jerusalem and the fall of Tyrus (or Tyre) by the voice of Ezekiel about five years before its fall. Jerusalem was full of idolatry and wickedness. Tyrus also had a severe spiritual problem. The city seemed to have been run by a prominent wicked spirit who kept his throne there.

Chapter twenty-seven was a song, a funeral dirge, for the city of Tyrus and its evil spirit. After a long list of goods and skills that Tyrus had to procure from other nations because it had no skills or goods of its own, God continued the lament:

The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas.

The name Tarshish began as the name of a region of the Mediterranean coast where good ships were built and good mariners were trained. But after a time, all such ports and ships of merchandise became known as Tarshish. The merchant ships of the Mediterranean traveled to fill Tyrus with splendor.

Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.

It was merchandise being moved over the sea that made Tyrus a great city, but it was a wind, or a king, from the east who broke Tyrus and tossed it into the heart of the sea.

Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin.

The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots.

Shipmasters, sailors, ships and repair crews, sellers and their merchandise, valiant men and city dwellers would all fall into the sea. The cries of the mariners along the coast, (KJV Bible called the coast a suburb), would be constant like the waves that lap against the land.

And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land;

And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes:

And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing.

Oarsmen, sailors, and shipmasters alike would all come ashore just to stand on firm land while they mourned bitterly for Tyrus. They would mourn in the tradition of a man who has lost his close relative or best friend, with ashes and dust and shaving of the head while beating on the chest and singing sorrowful funeral songs.

And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea?

Ezekiel sang the words given him by God. He sang a funeral dirge about sailors singing a dirge! Out of their crying, a song would rise up. The words of the funeral song would ask, “Who, in the heart of the sea, has ever been destroyed like Tyrus? Your markets came from the sea. You filled yourself with people of wealth. Even kings grew rich from your wealth.”

When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise.

God continued until he told of the stunned moment among the islanders and coastline cities, when they quietly considered Tyrus. They would not go back to the city that was broken into the sea. They would not go back and look for merchandise that fell to the depths. Kings and shipmasters would speak in shrill tones about the terror that swept the island and the city.

In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depth of the waters thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall.

All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance.

The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more.

That city of parties and haggling and trade and smuggling went silent in about 573 BC. It was a terrorizing silence to they who took part in keeping the marketplace of Tyrus open for business.

Tyrus fell silent when it heard the terror of God. The righteous heard only the constant lap of the waters against the land.

Life in the hollow, Friday

The jet planes have been roaring across the skies since midnight. I’ve been praying and declaring God’s warrior angels to clean up their airborne pollution and man-made clouds. And tonight, I can see the stars.

As a child, I was taught to recognize a couple of constellations of stars. It was an important life skill to keep children from the despair of being lost. Now children carry a cell phone with a map app. Ships triangulate their position with computers, not stars. Stars and their patterns represent lost knowledge.

There has been amazing beauty in leaving the world of cell phones and navigational equipment behind. None of that electronic stuff works in a hollow anyway. Signals cannot go through the dirt of the mountains and ridges. The Ozark Plateau has hundreds of thousands of hollows like the one where I live. You have to notice the moss on the trees and triangulate that with the stars.

Beware, dear reader. Beware of modern conveniences that make knowledge unnecessary. Be smart about conveniences that produce dependence upon the marketplace. Those conveniences not only lead us, they track us. They sell our list of locations visited, our likes and dislikes to a merchandiser. If a merchandiser can buy the list, so can an enemy.

Live, instead, in the hollow of God’s hand and observe the world. The noises of the struggle of man against machine are silent when we stand near God.

In the glorious name of Jesus, I pray that we all resist the superficial world of glitter, throbbing music, and satan’s advertising. I pray that we find our way to the song in our own hearts, to our most beautiful home with God.

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