Friday, December 26, 2008

Giving My Best

I've rewritten or paraphrased a couple of passages from the bible, to help me study and understand these pasages a little clearer. God is so good in that he provided us with His holy scriptures, so that we might come to learn from Him.

GOD - Israel, I have loved you.
Israel - Ha! How have you loved us?
GOD - Was Esau not the rightful son who should have been blessed?
GOD - Wasn’t Jacob the younger chosen?
GOD - I cursed Esau because he dishonored his father.
GOD - I have torn down Easu’s mountains and left his dwelling desolate.
GOD - They may try and rebuild, but I will again destroy it all.
GOD - They shall forever be cursed.
GOD - You will see and know that God, who rules over all judges even them.
GOD - A son honors his father.
GOD - If I am a father, where is the honor I should have?
GOD - A servant honors his master.
GOD - If I am a master, where is the respect you should give me?"
GOD - You priests look down on me.
Israel - How have we looked down on you?
GOD - You put unclean food upon my altar.
Israel - How have we made your altar unclean?
Israel - How have we defiled you?
GOD - You do it by looking down on my altar.
GOD - By despising my altar you despise me.
GOD - Is it not wrong to sacrifice blind, sick, or defiled animals to me?
GOD - How would your governor enjoy those gifts?
GOD - Do you fear your governor more than you fear me?
GOD - Do you honor your rulers more than you honor me?
GOD - Now you dare to ask me to show you my favor and to bless you?
GOD - Don’t you know how you dishonor me?
GOD - As long as you give me these types of offerings, how can I bless you?
GOD - You might as well close up the temple and stop pretending to honor me.
GOD - I am not pleased with you, and I will not accept any of these offerings you bring.
GOD - My name will be great throughout the world!
GOD - The whole world will worship me from the east to the west.
GOD - In every place they will burn beautiful incense to me.
GOD - They will bring pure offerings to me because my name will be great in the world.
GOD - But you, you treat me and my name as if it is a common name.
GOD - You treat my altar as a common altar, worth less than your rulers.
GOD - You look down on the offerings you bring and give me the leftovers.
GOD - You grumble as if serving me is a burden.
GOD - You wish you could do the things that make you happy, instead of thinking of me.
GOD - You cheat me by promising the best, and delivering the second best.
GOD - Because you cheat me, you are under my curse.
GOD - Remember Esau.
GOD - Even the nations around you respect and know me as the great king.
GOD - So why can’t you?

Malachi 1

As Jesus looked up, He saw rich people putting in their gifts into the temple offering boxes. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
JESUS - What I’m about to tell you is true.
JESUS - That poor widow has put in more than all the others.
JESUS - All of those other people put in a lot, because they are rich.
JESUS - But even though this lady is very poor, she has put in everything she had.
JESUS - She has nothing else to live on.

Luke 1:1-4

What if I sing with the voice of an angel?
Without love, my voice and my songs are worthless.
I am really only a loud, noisy clanging symbol in God’s eyes.
What if God has blessed me with the gift of prophecy?
What if I memorized the Bible, inside and out.
What if I think I know the deep mysteries of God.
What if I have more faith than anyone, so that I can do anything?
If I don’t have love, then all of these gifts don’t matter.
Without love, I am really no one at all.
What if I give everything I have to the poor?
What if I give my own body to be sacrificed in place of someone else?
If I do not have love, these generous actions will not benefit me.
If I do not do these actions out of love, care, and concern, then I might as well not do them. It would be the same as I did nothing at all, than to do these without love. What good is it?

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

1 comment:

  1. Great paraphrase! Very instructive. One of my favorites is: "You grumble as if serving me is a burden." Haunting reprimand.