I’m ready to start studying Revelation 17. I’ve been studying Revelation for about 2 years now. If you’ve missed any of my previous studies on them, click HERE .
Revelation 17:1-2 1 Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls came and told me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. 2 The kings of the earth were sexually immoral with her, and those who dwell on the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her immorality.”
Let’s look at this verse in different translations:
King James Bible – KJV And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
New Living Translation – NLT One of the seven angels who had poured out the seven bowls came over and spoke to me. “Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality.”
English Standard Version – ESV Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.”
Contemporary English Version – CEV One of the seven angels who had emptied the bowls came over and said to me, “Come on! I will show you how God will punish that shameless prostitute who sits on many oceans. Every king on earth has slept with her, and her shameless ways are like wine that has made everyone on earth drunk.”
Good News Translation – GNT Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came to me and said, “Come, and I will show you how the famous prostitute is to be punished, that great city that is built near many rivers. The kings of the earth practiced sexual immorality with her, and the people of the world became drunk from drinking the wine of her immorality.”
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
punishment = κρίμα (krima) = Noun – Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong’s Greek 2917: From krino; a decision (‘crime’).
prostitute = πόρνης (pornēs) = Noun – Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong’s Greek 4204: A prostitute; met: an idolatrous community. Feminine of pornos; a strumpet; figuratively, an idolater.
sits = καθημένης (kathēmenēs) = Verb – Present Participle Middle or Passive – Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong’s Greek 2521: To sit, be seated, enthroned; I dwell, reside. From kata; and hemai; to sit down; figuratively, to remain, reside.
waters = ὑδάτων (hydatōn) = Noun – Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong’s Greek 5204: Water. And genitive case, hudatos, etc. From the base of huetos; water literally or figuratively.
kings = βασιλεῖς (basileis) = Noun – Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong’s Greek 935: A king, ruler, but in some passages clearly to be translated: emperor. Probably from basis; a sovereign.
were sexually immoral = ἐπόρνευσαν (eporneusan) = Verb – Aorist Indicative Active – 3rd Person Plural
Strong’s Greek 4203: To fornicate; met: I practice idolatry. From porne; to act the harlot, i.e. indulge unlawful lust, or practise idolatry.
were intoxicated = ἐμεθύσθησαν (emethysthēsan) = Verb – Aorist Indicative Passive – 3rd Person Plural
Strong’s Greek 3182: To make drunk; pass: I become drunk. A prolonged form of methuo; to intoxicate.
immorality = πορνείας (porneias) = Noun – Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong’s Greek 4202: Fornication, whoredom; met: idolatry. From porneuo; harlotry; figuratively, idolatry.
The Whore of Babylon
Babylon was a powerful kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC. It’s first mention in the Bible is the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Near the time of Abraham, Babylon became an independent city-state ruled by the Amorites.
The city was built on the Euphrates river and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river’s seasonal floods.
The town became part of a small independent city-state with the rise of the First Babylonian dynasty in the 19th century BC. After the Amorite king, Hammurabi, created a short-lived empire in the 18th century BC, he built Babylon up into a major city and declared himself its king, and southern Mesopotamia became known as Babylonia and Babylon eclipsed Nippur as its holy city. It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world c. 1770 – c. 1670 BC, and again c. 612 – c. 320 BC. It was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000.
From 605 BC – 562 BC, Nebuchadnezzar II is king of Babylon. In 597 BC, King Nebuchadnezar II captures Jerusalem and deports the Jews to Babylonia between 597 BC – 587 BC. Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah to rule Judah. However, Zedekiah, against the prophet Jeremiah’s counsel, joined the Egyptians in a revolt in 589 BC. This resulted in Nebuchadnezzar’s return. The remaining Jews were deported, Jerusalem was burned, and the temple was destroyed in August of 587 or 586 BC (Jeremiah 52:1-30). It was under Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign that the city was renovated so that it covered 2,200 acres and had the most beautiful and impressive structures in all of Mesopotamia including the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Babylon is the setting for the ministry of the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel, who were both deportees from Judah. Daniel became a leader and royal advisor to the Babylonian and Persian Empires.
The Neo-Babylonian Empire continued after the death of Nebuchadnezzar II and Babylon continued to play an important role in the region under the rule of Nabonidus and his successor Belshazzar. In 539 BC the empire fell to the Persians under Cyrus the Great. After two hundred years, the Persian Empire fell to Alexander the Great in 331 BC. He ordered his men not to damage the buildings nor molest the inhabitants. After Alexander’s death at Babylon in 323 BC, his successors fought over his empire, carving it up and the residents of the city fled for their safety. By the time the Parthian Empire ruled the region in 141 BC Babylon was deserted and forgotten. The city steadily fell into ruin.
In the ancient times, Babylon was considered one of the most powerful empires of the world. The story of Babylon is woven throughout the Old Testament. She is in Genesis as “Babel”, the city were human beings decided build a tower to the heavens. In their pride and arrogance, they were mimicking satan and Adam/Eve’s sin of pride and wanting to be God. They disobeyed God’s command in Genesis 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.”
Genesis 11:4 And they say, ‘Give help, let us build for ourselves a city and tower, and its head in the heavens, and make for ourselves a name, lest we be scattered over the face of all the earth.’
Psalm 49:11-13 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
Jeremiah 51:53 Even if Babylon should ascend to the heavens and fortify her lofty stronghold, the destroyers I send will come against her, declares the LORD.
Later Babylon becomes the empire that destroys Jerusalem, burns the Temple and forces the people of God into exile (called the Diaspora).
Babylon is mentioned from Genesis to Revelation, as it rises from its rebellious beginnings to become a symbol of the Antichrist’s evil world system. When God’s people required discipline, God used the Babylonian Empire to accomplish it, but He limited Judah’s captivity to 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11). Then, God promised to “punish the king of Babylon and his nation” (Jeremiah 25:12) “for all the wrong they have done in Zion” (Jeremiah 51:24). Ultimately, all evil will be judged, as symbolized by Babylon’s demise in Revelation 18:21: “The great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.” – GotQuestions.org
Let’s look at one of the often forgotten stories of pride in the Book of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that disturbs him:
Daniel 4:4-8 4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace. 5 I had a dream, and it frightened me; while in my bed, the images and visions in my mind alarmed me. 6 So I issued a decree that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. 7 When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers,a and diviners came in, I told them the dream, and they could not interpret it for me. 8 But at last, Daniel came into my presence (his name is Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.) And I told him the dream…
Daniel interprets the dream for King Nebuchadnezzar:
Daniel 4:19-37 19 For a time, Daniel, who was also known as Belteshazzar, was perplexed, and his thoughts alarmed him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.”
“My lord,” replied Belteshazzar, “may the dream apply to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your enemies!
20 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, whose top reached the sky and was visible to all the earth, 21 whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, providing food for all, under which the beasts of the field lived, and in whose branches the birds of the air nested— 22 you, O king, are that tree! For you have become great and strong; your greatness has grown to reach the sky, and your dominion extends to the ends of the earth.
23 And you, O king, saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying:
‘Cut down the tree and destroy it,
but leave the stump with its roots in the ground,
with a band of iron and bronze around it,
in the tender grass of the field.
Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven,
and graze with the beasts of the field
till seven times pass him by.’
24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree that the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field. You will feed on grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass you by, until you acknowledge that the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of mankind, and He gives it to anyone He wishes.
26 As for the command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots, your kingdom will be restored to you as soon as you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, may my advice be pleasing to you, O king. Break away from your sins by doing what is right, and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed. Perhaps there will be an extension of your prosperity.”
28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 the king exclaimed, “Is this not Babylon the Great, which I myself have built by the might of my power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?”
31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven: “It is decreed to you, King Nebuchadnezzar, that the kingdom has departed from you. 32 You will be driven away from mankind to live with the beasts of the field, and you will feed on grass like cattle. And seven times will pass you by, until you acknowledge that the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men, and He gives it to anyone He wishes.”
33 At that moment the sentence against Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from mankind. He ate grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
34 But at the end of those days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven, and my sanity was restored to me. Then I praised the Most High, and I honored and glorified Him who lives forever:
“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the peoples of the earth
are counted as nothing,
and He does as He pleases
with the army of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
There is no one who can restrain His hand
or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”
36 At the same time my sanity was restored to me, and my honor and splendor returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, for all His works are true, and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.
This story of pride and humility is so good that we should pay more attention to it.
Psalm 107:40 He pours contempt on the nobles and makes them wander a pathless wasteland.
Jeremiah 27:5 By My great power and outstretched arm, I made the earth and the men and beasts on the face of it, and I give it to whom I please.
God uses an ungodly kingdom as a tool, an instrument of punishment. He uses ungodly kings to further His cause and His plans. Despite the fact that these rulers are unbelievers, God can use them for His purposes. They may be totally unaware of God’s plans and how God uses them to further His work. They may be atheists, or of some un-Christian religion. We must always remember that God is in control no matter who is at the top of the government. Nothing on this earth is out of God’s control no matter what it looks like. God is always working to bring about His plans and purposes and it’s always to the betterment of His Children. In this case, God used Babylon much as mothers used to use switches or fathers used their hand to spank their child. A loving parent doesn’t beat their child out of rage. When that happens, the parents are out of control and nothing is gained but the pain of their children. That’s child abuse and not what I’m talking about. A loving parent disciplines their child with a greater objective in mind. They don’t spank for spanking’s sake. They spank to control their children and teach them a better way.
In this case, if you read the entire Old Testament, you find God is often represented as a Father who has a wayward child, the Israelites. Sometimes He also figures Himself as a Husband who has married a promiscuous wife. He uses mercy, love and grace in His care of His children (or wife) until the children (or wife) stray into dangerous territory. They risk eternal hell in their pursuit of idols. They ruin their lives and live in misery, then risk eternal hell, because of their rebellious, hardened hearts that lust after idols. Although the children (or wife) run away from God to idolatrous religions, God is still their Father (or husband) who desires them more than anything. He goes after them. He warns them. He sends others to warn them. He pops their behind. Finally, in order to stop their self destructive ways, He has to use harder discipline. Due to the hardness of their heart, His discipline increases.
Disciplining your children is not what you want to do. Nobody likes to sit their child in a corner for timeout, or take away their favorite things or spank them. It’s hard on the parents to be consistent in discipline and they don’t like being the heavy in the familial dynamics. The child will yell, “I hate you!” and it stabs a parent in the heart. Or the child will scream, “You’re not the boss of me! I can do what I want! I can’t wait until I can move out and never see you again! I wish you’d die!” and the parent, who has given all for their children, will feel the pain in their heart that is like no other. But, to successfully raise a child into a mature, responsible and emotionally healthy adult, some discipline is needed. It takes someone who is mature and who can control themselves to administer consistent, appropriate discipline to teach their children the correct way to behave, to learn and practice ethics and integrity, honesty and cooperation with others. Too many parents today do not know how to use discipline correctly or just don’t want to bother. They are raising children who become dysfunctional adults. They don’t have work ethics; they don’t know how to have healthy relationships; they feel entitled and cannot function in the real world. It’s very sad to see a generation of adults who cannot function in a healthy manner and cannot get along well with others. Those spoiled children will be unable to have a good marriage and healthy family life because they never learned how to share, to cooperate, to be honest and dependable, to work together towards common goals, etc. They are emotionally stunted. As long as someone caters to their every need and strokes their ego, that person is tolerated in a relationship. But as soon as real life intervenes, they can’t cope. One day their bride wakes up with a terrific headache and snaps at her husband instead of making him breakfast and filling his bento box with all his favorites for lunch. When he gets home from work, she’s still in bed with a sick headache, she looks terrible, there is no supper on the table and all she can do is moan. By now, spoiled rotten husband, is falling out of love with his bride. She’s not catering to him, stroking his ego, making his every step easy, and she looks terrible. He’s so focused on himself and his needs, that he doesn’t do anything to help her and he’s not going to put up with it very long. If you’ve been married very long, you know it’s all about helping each other, working together, learning how to cooperate, adjusting your perspective and expectations, being able to adjust to life hits, being willing to give and take, be flexible. But for an emotionally stunted person, they can’t do any of that and therefore cannot have a healthy friendship, marriage, father/child relationship, work relationship, etc. It’s all about them and they simply see life as their own show.
Back to the Israelites. If you read the Old Testament in it’s entirety, you see the beginning of God’s relationship with His chosen people, the Jews (aka Hebrews, Israelites). You see their relationship go through ups and downs and how God is always pursuing them, wooing them, desiring a relationship with them. But you also see them running away from God, rebelling, going into idolatry, repenting, trying again, then back into running away from God, rebelling and idolatry. It’s a terrible cycle but one we should understand as all human beings do this on an individual basis. It started with Adam and Eve.
We rebel against God. No matter how good He is to us, how much He has provided for us, how often He protects us… we run away from Him, rebel, put our fingers in our ears saying, “I don’t want to hear from God…na, na, na, na, na.”
Before we know it, we’ve pursued some idol into misery. If we keep it up, we’ll end up eternally living in hell. That’s not what God wants. He provided a way to escape Hell and spend eternity in Heaven with Him. But we have to want Him and we have to accept the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
So throughout the Old Testament, we see God having to result to discipline and sometimes He had to use drastic discipline to try and rescue His people from the fate they are running to. God used Babylon as a tool of discipline. Now before you think God is too harsh to use an evil empire against Israel, let’s remember that God knows every single individual and He knows the future because He lives outside of time. He, Jesus and the Holy Spirit planned every single human being that has, does, or will exist before the world began. He knows each one of us by name. He knows every cell of our body, every hair on our head, every thought we think and every word we say. He knows every experience we go through. He knows our days and the length of them. He also knows which ones will turn to Him and which ones never will. There is not one single person that is a throw away to God. But there are many who throw themselves away. We have free will and many choose to reject God every time He reaches out to them. They have a set number of days and the Holy Spirit works with each person during their days on this earth and tries to get them to repent and turn to God and accept Jesus Christ. God even put a seed of faith in each human being. If that seed is allowed the touch of the Holy Spirit, it will spring into life and faith will begin to grow. But so many, refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to work in their heart, they reject His touch to that seed of faith that would bring it to life. They run from God all their lives and curse Him with their last breath. God also knows those who will one day let the Holy Spirit in. He knows that person who will respond even if it’s on their death bed, a last minute conversion. God will not allow a single one of us, who are God responders, to be lost. So, God allowed Babylon to invade Israel, kill and take into captivity the Jews. It seems harsh, but again, God knows each individual person and God knows when it’s time to bring His Children home or when it’s time, for those who stubbornly refuse Him, to let them go. If a faithful, God-follower was killed by a Babylonian soldier, God knew it was time for that person to come home where he will be greeted by a loving Father who has provided an eternity of bliss for His children. If a hard hearted, rebellious God-hater was killed by a Babylonia soldier, God knew that person was never going to accept Him as His Father and therefore was let go. It certainly wasn’t for want of trying on God’s part!
I learned that if someone got into an office that I didn’t approve of, God was still in control. If my candidate didn’t win President, Mayor, Governor, etc, God was still in control. He would work with the office holder but if the office holder rejected and refused God’s moving in his personal life, God could still use him/her to do the things that God purposed in this world whether that person realized it or not. But for those in high office, you might re-read this story of King Nebuchadnezzar who tended to think too highly of himself. He basically said, “Look what I have accomplished!” and while the words were yet in his mouth, he lost his ever-lovin’ mind (as we say in the South)! When we humans start looking around at our feathered nest and thinking how smart we are and what all we’ve done, we should remember that nothing comes to us unless it’s through the Father so it is God we should be thanking.
It reminds me of an old 1965 movie with Jimmy Stewart called Shenandoah. Charlie Anderson (James Stewart) and his 6 sons Jacob, John, James, Nathan, Henry, and Boy (who is 16) run the family farm, while his daughter Jennie (Rosemary Forsyth) and daughter-in-law Ann (Katharine Ross) take care of the housework. The family has no slaves. Charlie Anderson attends church weekly and considers himself a “God fearing” man but he doesn’t give God credit for anything. In his heart he blames God for taking his wife from him.
When they sit down to dinner and say the blessing, Charlie says, “Lord, we cleared this land, we plowed it, sowed it, and harvested. We cooked the harvest, it wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be eating it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you just the same anyway Lord for this food we are about to eat. Amen.” During the War of Northern Aggression, terrible times hit and they lose some of the family. By the end of the movie, Charlie has changed his outlook and now acknowledges God and His goodness. His cold heart of pride has turned into a heart of thanksgiving.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Now, to get back to Revelation 17:1-2, who is the great prostitute that is going to be punished? It is Babylon which represents the world empire of evil that will be headed by the anti-Christ who is inspired and influenced by satan.
Revelation 17:1-2 1 Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls came and told me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. 2 The kings of the earth were sexually immoral with her, and those who dwell on the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her immorality.”
It says here that she “sits on many waters”. This may refer to how Babylon actually straddled the Euphrates River. It may refer to a world empire who is strategically placed as a port city from which ships can come and go from and goods are distributed through this great port. If you’ve read my other studies on Revelation, you know that some believe this “world empire” was Rome. Some believe it refers to the Catholic church. Some believe it is Jerusalem, Israel, the Jews who rejected Christ. And others believe it is a future world empire led by the anti-Christ. This is my belief. I know it could be any, or all, of the above with the final fulfillment as the future one-world government that is coming in the end days. There are perfectly reasonable justifications for each of these views.
Why would this symbol be of a prostitute, a harlot, a whore? In the Old Testament prophetic books, God was married to the nation of Israel. He used marriage as a type of His relationship with His people. But when His people ran after other gods, idolatry, they were being unfaithful to Him and He likened it to a husband and wife and the wife has gone after other men, prostituting herself. God had chosen a people and He had made sure they were provided for and protected. They were treated gently and tenderly and given the best of everything. But instead of loving their God in return, they deserted Him time after time. They forgot God as their intimate first love. God sometimes even directed His prophets to act out, or live out, the relationship that God was experiencing with His chosen people. Let’s look at some of the examples of this in the Old Testament.
The book of Hosea is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Old Testament. The Talmud claims that he was the greatest prophet of his generation. The period of Hosea’s ministry extended some sixty years and he was the only prophet of Israel of his time who left any written prophecy. “Hosea” means “salvation”, or “He saves”, or “He helps”. Hosea had his prophetic ministry in Northern Israel (Samaria) of which he was a native during the 8th century BC. Sometimes he is know as a prophet of doom but he really tells a love story. God sends Hosea to Israel during King Jeroboam II’s reign to admonish them of their wrongs in perpetual idol worship and dependence on outside nations. Hosea used his own experience as a symbolic representation of God and Israel. He married a woman named Gomer and had children with her. But she was unfaithful. His children’s names represent God’s estrangement from Israel. They are prophetic of the fall of the ruling dynasty and the severed covenant with God. Even though Gomer ran away from Hosea, he loved her anyway and forgave her. Even though the people of Israel worshiped false gods, God continued to love them and did not abandon His covenant with them. He saw their unfaithfulness and it angered Him, but He always went after them to bring them back. He tried loving and wooing them just like a man in love.
Hosea 1:2-11 2 When the LORD first spoke to Hosea, He told him, “Go, take a prostitute as your wife and have children of adultery, because this land is flagrantly prostituting itself by departing from the LORD.” 3 So Hosea went and married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Name him Jezreel, for soon I will bring the bloodshed of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.” 6 Gomer again conceived and gave birth to a daughter, and the LORD said to Hosea, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I should ever forgive them. 7 Yet I will have compassion on the house of Judah, and I will deliver them—not by bow or sword or war, not by horses and cavalry, but by the LORD their God.” 8 After she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, Gomer conceived and gave birth to a son. 9 And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people, and I am not your God. 10 Yet the number of the Israelites will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ 11 Then the people of Judah and of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one leader, and will go up out of the land. For great will be the day of Jezreel.
Hosea 2:2-5 2 Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not My wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adultery from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. 3 Otherwise, I will strip her naked and expose her like the day of her birth. I will make her like a desert and turn her into a parched land, and I will let her die of thirst. 4 I will have no compassion on her children because they are the children of adultery. 5 For their mother has played the harlot and has conceived them in disgrace. For she thought, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me bread and water, wool and linen, oil and drink.’
Hosea 2:14-17 (parenthesis mine) 14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her and lead her to the wilderness, and speak to her tenderly. 15 There I will give back her vineyards and make the Valley of Achord into a gateway of hope. There she will respond as she did in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. 16 In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call Me ‘my husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘my Master.’ 17 For I will remove from her lips the names of the Baals (idols); no longer will their names be invoked.
Isaiah 62:4-5 (parenthesis are definitions from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) 4 No longer will you be called Forsaken, nor your land named Desolate; but you will be called Hephzibah (‘my delight is in her’), and your land Beulah (To be master, to marry); for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be His bride. 5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so your sons will marry you; and as a groom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.
Psalm 45:10-11 10 Listen, O daughter, observe and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father’s house, 11 and the king will desire your beauty; bow to him, for he is your lord.
Jeremiah 3:14, 19-20 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:… 19 “I myself said,“ ‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’
I thought you would call me ‘Father’
and not turn away from following me.
20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,”
Ezekiel 16:1-34 1 Then another message came to me from the LORD: 2 “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable sins. 3 Give her this message from the Sovereign LORD: You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 On the day you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was not cut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in cloth. 5 No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were unwanted, dumped in a field and left to die.
6 “But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’ 7 And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field. You grew up and became a beautiful jewel. Your breasts became full, and your body hair grew, but you were still naked. 8 And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine.
9 “Then I bathed you and washed off your blood, and I rubbed fragrant oils into your skin. 10 I gave you expensive clothing of fine linen and silk, beautifully embroidered, and sandals made of fine goatskin leather. 11 I gave you lovely jewelry, bracelets, beautiful necklaces, 12 a ring for your nose, earrings for your ears, and a lovely crown for your head. 13 And so you were adorned with gold and silver. Your clothes were made of fine linen and were beautifully embroidered. You ate the finest foods—choice flour, honey, and olive oil—and became more beautiful than ever. You looked like a queen, and so you were! 14 Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty. I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign LORD.
15 “But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking. 16 You used the lovely things I gave you to make shrines for idols, where you played the prostitute. Unbelievable! How could such a thing ever happen? 17 You took the very jewels and gold and silver ornaments I had given you and made statues of men and worshiped them. This is adultery against me! 18 You used the beautifully embroidered clothes I gave you to dress your idols. Then you used my special oil and my incense to worship them. 19 Imagine it! You set before them as a sacrifice the choice flour, olive oil, and honey I had given you, says the Sovereign LORD.
20 “Then you took your sons and daughters—the children you had borne to me—and sacrificed them to your gods. Was your prostitution not enough? 21 Must you also slaughter my children by sacrificing them to idols? 22 In all your years of adultery and detestable sin, you have not once remembered the days long ago when you lay naked in a field, kicking about in your own blood.
23 “What sorrow awaits you, says the Sovereign LORD. In addition to all your other wickedness, 24 you built a pagan shrine and put altars to idols in every town square. 25 On every street corner you defiled your beauty, offering your body to every passerby in an endless stream of prostitution. 26 Then you added lustful Egypt to your lovers, provoking my anger with your increasing promiscuity. 27 That is why I struck you with my fist and reduced your boundaries. I handed you over to your enemies, the Philistines, and even they were shocked by your lewd conduct. 28 You have prostituted yourself with the Assyrians, too. It seems you can never find enough new lovers! And after your prostitution there, you still were not satisfied. 29 You added to your lovers by embracing Babylonia,a the land of merchants, but you still weren’t satisfied.
30 “What a sick heart you have, says the Sovereign LORD, to do such things as these, acting like a shameless prostitute. 31 You build your pagan shrines on every street corner and your altars to idols in every square. In fact, you have been worse than a prostitute, so eager for sin that you have not even demanded payment. 32 Yes, you are an adulterous wife who takes in strangers instead of her own husband. 33 Prostitutes charge for their services—but not you! You give gifts to your lovers, bribing them to come and have sex with you. 34 So you are the opposite of other prostitutes. You pay your lovers instead of their paying you!
Jeremiah 31:31-32 31 “The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD.
The book called the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs is a love poem supposedly written by King Solomon. It celebrates sexual love and intimacy. The two are in harmony, each desiring the other and rejoicing in intimacy. The literal subject of the Song of Songs is love and sexual longing between a man and a woman. The Song is evidence of God’s love for his people. The same love and intimacy is what God wants with His people (in the Old Testament they were the Jews, but with the New Testament believing Gentiles, the true Church, were adopted through Jesus Christ and are also God’s people). God is the bridegroom who desires His bride (His people) and she is also in love. They can’t get enough of each other and they give each other everything they have in love. They desire each other’s company and think about each other all the time just like a man and woman in love. This book not only gives us a godly perspective on love between a man and a woman but a type of the relationship between Christ and the church. Although you hear the bridegroom’s words and the words of the audience of the women of Jerusalem, the bride’s voice is most prominent. It is the woman’s voice that begins and ends the book. Song of Solomon 1:2 begins with her desire for her beloved, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” The poem ends with her calling out to her beloved, “Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices” (Song of Solomon 8:14). “Divine wisdom makes it plain that a healthy romantic relationship will be one in which the woman’s voice is cultivated, heard, and fully considered”. – James L. Harvey III (DMin, Erskine Seminary)
So we’ve looked a little bit at how God used the institution of marriage to be a type, or example, of our relationship with our God. Let’s look at the New Testament where Jesus is described as the Bridegroom and the Church as the Bride of Christ.
Ephesians 5:22-32 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her 26 to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. 30 For we are members of His body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, but I am speaking about Christ and the church.
2 Corinthians 11:2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I promised you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
Jesus was both the Son of God and the Son of Man, both 100% God and 100% man. This is why He is pure, sinless. We are born in sin and live in sin. He was born pure and lived pure. Therefore He was the only human (because He was also God) who could make the sacrifice for our sins. He could take our place and take our punishment setting us free from sin and death! He was the perfect, blameless, spotless Lamb of God, the sacrificial lamb who blood washed us clean from all sin, past, present and future.
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
John 1:1,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 10:30 “I and my Father are one.”
John 14:9-11 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.”
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Matthew 9:14-15 14 One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do?” 15 Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
John 3:27-36 (parenthesis mine) 27 John(John the Baptist) replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ 29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. 30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. 31 He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. 32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! 33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. 34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. 36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and is also a man. These verses we just read tell us and that Jesus is the Lamb of God and the Bridegroom. To be a Bridegroom, you have to have a Bride and with a Bridegroom and Bride there will be a marriage, a wedding. The trinity is the perfect union and unity of the three God-heads, three in one of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. They are God as one God, but they are also a triune. But they work together in such harmony and unity that One is never less than the other Two. Jesus is the Son but He represented the Father and, in all things, He never deviated from the Father. The Holy Spirit that lives in us now is in such harmony with the Father and Son that what the Spirit teaches and tells us about God is from God. He reveals the Father and Son to us. The trinity is a difficult concept for humans and we won’t ever really understand it until we see it worked out in front of our eyes in Heaven. There are three distinct persons of the God-head, yet they are in total agreement and unity so that they are also One. God is the Groom, the people He institutes a covenant with are the bride. The Bride is the people of God. Christians see marriage as a sacred sacrament because human marriage represents God’s desired relationship with His people. We aren’t just promising (before God and men as witnesses) to marry and stay faithful to this spouse, we are acting out, in real life, what God intends in His relationship with His people. When our marriages end in divorce, we are not only breaking our promise to marry and be faithful to our spouse, but we are messing up the message of God’s desired relationship with His people. A covenant is a sacred thing and a marriage is making a covenant just as God made a covenant with us. Thank You Lord, that You don’t break the covenant even if we do!
So many brides and bridegrooms see their wedding as “their special day” and it’s all about them. If you watch some of the wedding reality shows, it’s so full of selfishness, pride, ego, immaturity that it’s shameful. If you’ve been a bride-zilla and made everyone miserable, it doesn’t matter how expensive your wedding dress was, what kind of limousine you rode up in, what kind of steak you served at the reception, how much you spent on a “perfect” wedding cake or what kind of engagement and wedding pictures you take… You’ve ruined the day with your own selfishness and pride. You may look glitzy and glamorous but everyone in the wedding party and family will know that behind the facade it’s all rotten and stinks with pettiness, selfishness, arrogance and waste. And, can I be frank? Who would want to marry someone so spoiled rotten and selfish? Whether it’s the bride or the bridegroom, who would want to shackle themselves for life to someone who is so hateful and inconsiderate of other people? Who wants to wake up next to someone every day for the rest of their lives when they saw such meanness? If I saw my prospective spouse making fun of guests or anyone in the wedding party I would run for the hills rather than shackle myself to them. If I saw them treat contractors and service people with contempt, rudeness and pettiness, I would walk out on them before they dragged me down the aisle. If I saw my prospective spouse go into hock to buy a wedding dress and put their parents in the poor house with their demands for a perfect wedding, there would be no wedding. If I saw my prospective husband be rude and intolerant of my family, I would keep looking. If a woman demands a diamond ring that is beyond your means, walk away. Because, buddy, if they treat their parents, friends, family, and businesses that bad, you can sure expect them to treat you the same way. You will not be exempt. They will try to control you, manipulate you, make unreasonable demands, have unrealistic expectations, and run you into the poor house to fulfill their every desire and whim. You don’t really want to marry a spoiled rotten Mama’s boy or a spoiled rotten Daddy’s girl. And when your marriage inevitably ends, they will try to take you to the cleaners. Mostly what I’ve been talking about are those who are spoiled and expect an exorbitant amount of money be spent on them for one day. But the other extreme is possible too. If you are obsessed with saving money, being thrifty to the extreme… you can be just as selfish as those who spent $5,000 on a dress they will never wear again. There was a tv reality show called Extreme Cheapskates that showed the extreme measures some people take to save money. In this case, money is just as much their god as the ones I was talking about who spent exorbitant amounts. They showed several people who were too cheap for their wedding. They ruined what could have been a nice day for their spouse, family and friends by overdoing the thrift and frugality. They humiliated their spouse by embarrassing them. They made their family and friends uncomfortable. They bargained down any service people or contractors and put them on the spot, taking advantage of them. Basically making a lifetime event into a cartoon. They just couldn’t stop their self absorbed, selfish, greedy behavior. On one show a woman was so thrifty she made everyone pee in a bottle so she didn’t “waste” water by flushing a commode and she timed her boyfriend’s showers and turned off the hot water whether he was through or not. Control, greed and selfishness is not an attractive characteristic and I wouldn’t want to be married to someone like that. The key to balance is in thinking of others as much as you think of yourself. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Golden Rule makes life bearable for all involved. Life is not the Sharon-show (me). If it’s my wedding, I want to enjoy it and treat it as a lifetime event. But not to either extreme (wasteful spending or extreme thrift) and not to the hurt and discomfort of our guests. On the best day of your life, you don’t want to reveal yourself at your worst. In our family, we’ve had the whole spectrum of frugal to, what I would call, extravagant (although not so much as you see on TV) weddings. But I can honestly say I personally have not seen the brides or grooms act unbecomingly in either case. I’m proud to say we’ve been balanced, kind and courteous no matter where we fell on the financial spectrum. The ones who had more extravagant weddings didn’t demand it that way as far as I know. And they certainly didn’t act ugly or selfishly. It just happened that either they, or their parents, had the money to do it. Parents offered it out of love and it was received in love. On the other hand, I was one of those who had to be frugal so we didn’t put either sets of parents into financial debt. I waited on a diamond ring until 2 years after we were married. I used my mother’s wedding dress and she handmade my cap and veil. My uncle took our pictures. We offered our guests sheet cake, punch, mints and nuts rather than a full meal. Flowers were kept to a minimum. I loved my husband (still do) and couldn’t wait to marry him and so we worked within our budget to make it happen. We met and were married within 6 months and the only reason I waited that long was because I wanted to be 18. We were married about 3 weeks after I turned 18 yrs old. I was so in love I didn’t want to spend another moment without him! We had a full complement of family and friends and we were very grateful that they joined us. Our vows were said solemnly and were meant. So I think, given our financial constraints, we did a nice wedding, a lifetime event, but carefully and courteously to everyone involved. I didn’t want to ruin our day with any hurt feelings, conflict or controversy. Plus, I was very grateful to everyone who could share it with us and had even given us wedding gifts (we asked only for practical gifts, we didn’t sign up for a registry and stuff) that we needed to start our new life together. One of our nieces had been in the Miss SC pageant. She had gotten to wear evening gowns and go through all the glamour of something like that. It was good lifetime experience and training for her (it was her first and only beauty pageants so she was not what you would think of as a “pageant girl”). I’m glad she got to have that experience. But when it came to her wedding, she was in love and wanted to get married right away (just like me). They lived away from our hometown while she was in college and he was in the Air Force and his family was large and lived about a 14 hour drive away (i.e. it would be very expensive for all of them to travel that far, I know they would have, but it was kind and courteous not to expect his family to do it). She met him there but she brought him home to meet the family and then notified us that they were just going to the courthouse to get married. We were all excited and waiting for her long distance call to say it was a done deal. So even though her wedding was “frugal” financially, she included us all in the plans and we had a celebratory family shower when they were able to come home next and I think his family did too when they got to go visit them. So, as I said, I can be proud of our family in the wedding department no matter on what scale it was. The girls have all been gracious and generous and the guys have all been responsible and courteous. All of them have exhibited a grateful and thankful heart. In fact, I guess that’s why the bachelor and bride-zilla shows shock me so. I just can’t imagine being so spoiled, selfish, discourteous, demanding and disrespectful of others in something that is supposed to be a lifetime event.
Now to get back to Christ as the Bridegroom and the church, God’s people, as the Bride. God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15.
Genesis 15 1 Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”
2 But Abram replied, “ O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”
4 Then the LORD said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” 5 Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
6 And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.
7 Then the LORD told him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession. ”
8 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?”
9 The LORD told him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. 11 Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.
12 As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep , and a terrifying darkness came down over him. 13 Then the LORD said to Abram, “ You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth . 15 (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) 16 After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”
17 After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. 18 So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “ I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypta to the great Euphrates River — 19 the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
Notice I didn’t say Abraham made the covenant but God initiated and made the covenant. It was God who initiated, instructed and fulfilled the covenant. In Genesis 15, God instructed Abram (later renamed Abraham) to sacrifice a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. After Abraham killed them, he was to cut them in half. Then it says Abram fell into a deep sleep. God appeared to him and made the covenant. In the covenant God promised Abram that he would have a son and from this son would come as many descendants as stars in the sky. He also promised to give the land to his descendants. There was nothing Abram did other than follow God’s instructions. Man cannot approach God, cannot please God, because of our sin and our inability to cleanse ourselves of our sin. So God takes the initiative and does what we cannot do in order to have a relationship with His beloved people. This Old Testament covenant was a marriage between God and His chosen people, the Israelites. And it was a blood covenant. This was a type, and shadow, of the New Testament blood covenant, implemented by Jesus Christ. But in the New Covenant, Jesus is the lamb without spot or blemish. Did God nullify His covenant with the Jewish people in order to create the New Covenant? No. Israel was an unfaithful wife, running after idols again and again. But God was always faithful and always brought her back. There is always a remnant of the Jewish nation that will desire God and love Him. And it is those who repent and seek God whom God loves, forgives and will make sure they are included in the New Covenant. They must accept Jesus as the only Messiah and way to salvation. God knows who will and will not. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Covenant and God’s Law and commandments. He was successful in this. He followed God’s Law in spirit and truth. The only way He could do this, as a human, was to also be divine, Son of God and Son of Man. So we’ve completed the circle. The Old Covenant was the first marriage and was to a natural people. The New Covenant was made to a spiritual people. The first to a natural Nation and the last to a spiritual Nation.
Learning about how God uses marriage to portray the type of intimate relationship He wants with His people helps you understand why Christians consider marriage a sacrament. We should not be taking marriage lightly. Marriage was suppose to be a very solemn vow with witnesses. It’s not just a piece of paper or a temporary situation, a contract that is easily broken in a divorce court. It’s why Catholics don’t approve of divorce and why Christians took it so seriously in the old days. Now, I realize not all marriages are healthy or safe. Unfortunately, we humans, and our sinful human natures, can make a marriage a living hell. But making it so easy to separate and divorce is the opposite extreme. We need a more balanced approach.
First, couples should realize how serious marriage is. It isn’t just a big romantic wedding and flying off into La-La Land to be happy ever after. Too many young people seem to focus on the wedding and not the life afterwards. Serious counseling before the wedding is a very good idea. Not to ruin the romance but to make sure both are looking at things objectively and with a good understanding of required adjustments. Another thing is to be very careful about who you choose to marry. It shouldn’t just be about attraction and romance. That’s necessary but it’s also about where they come from and what baggage they bring when they move in. By that I mean, how different are you from each other and those differences will have a lot to do with your marriage and family dynamics. I know perfectly well there are those who can overcome cultural differences, racial differences, religious differences, financial differences, philosophical differences. But those are the exceptions to the rule. The closer you are in your raising, the more common ground you will have. For instance, a Catholic marrying a Protestant. You have the same God but there are differences in how you approach religion in your life and it’s very significant in how you will raise your children or what church you will attend. And if you marry outside your religion, it’s even harder. For instance, if you are Jewish and you marry a Christian or a Hindu or a Muslim or an Atheist. Religion usually goes deeper than you realize and expecting the spouse to change to match your religion may be an unrealistic expectation and vice versa. Do NOT underestimate how religious differences can affect your marriage. Being from different races can affect your marriage. I know many people marry outside their race and it’s worked. But many more do and it ended up in divorce court. You usually have a different outlook and mindset based on race that affects how you think and feel. Something that is offensive to one is not to another or vice versa. You may be setting yourself up for a fall. It’s not because you don’t love each other, it’s just because, once the newness wears off and the rubber meets the road, you see things in a totally different way and you can’t really understand each other. Same with cultural differences. For instance, I’m Southern American. If I met and fell in love with a Norwegian, although we are both white European extract we still come from totally different cultures. The culture shock for both might be too much to overcome. I don’t think I could ever live in such cold and they probably would never be comfortable in a hot, humid environment like I’m used to. It’s not just the environmental temperature. But, I never buy a sweater and they never buy a tank top. I never eat herring and they never eat salt and pepper catfish. I would be looking for a house with air conditioning and they would looking at a house with heat. It would be like that for every day decisions. It just might be too much to overcome. Then there are those with very different agendas. One may be very ambitious, on the go, loving adrenaline rushes or risking more than the other is comfortable with. Or maybe one is a workaholic and loves making money while the other is into simplifying and being laid back. How you look at money in your life could be a stumbling block. Does he know how to live within their budget or does he tend to overspend? Does she want to stay home with their children but he can’t understand her sacrificing a good paying job to do something as worthless as raise the children? Does he like to save and plan for the future but she likes to spend from paycheck to paycheck? Did he come from a privileged and financially secure family and she comes from a modest background? Does he expect to have two incomes, two checking accounts and everything split down the middle but she looks at it as combined income to be spent in combined ways? Look carefully at how compatible you are in your approach to life. Again, I repeat, there are many examples of marriages that successfully overcome financial, racial, cultural and philosophical differences. I’m very aware of it. But I’m also very aware that there are many more that don’t make it because of the overwhelming differences. So choose wisely. My husband and I have a lot in common and a lot of differences. The differences caused friction in our married life. I know everyone is different. You were raised one way and he was raised another, you lived one life and he lived another. But the more you have in common, the better chances you have. That being said, once you are married, learn to adjust and enjoy your own family dynamics. What works for you and your husband may not work for someone else. My parents never slept separately. They were married almost 62 years before Mother died and they slept together. But for us, we enjoy not only having separate beds but separate bedrooms. He snores and likes to watch TV programs that bore the hound out of me. I like my adjustable bed raised when I sleep so I can breath but he says it hurts his neck. I like to watch TV programs and work on my laptop and he doesn’t like what I like to watch. He has to get up early to go to work and I’m usually up late tapping on my computer and watching TV. He couldn’t get enough rest if he slept in the same room. Then I sleep late because I was up late. So he doesn’t want to wake me up as he gets ready for work. I like having the dogs and cats sleeping with me, him not so much. So for many reasons, it works better for us to have separate rooms. That was something we eventually came to an agreement about. So what worked for my parents is one thing and what worked for us is another. Neither couple is right or wrong. It’s what works. Some couples the wife has the better paying career and she wants to pursue it whereas the husband really enjoys being a professional parent. If they are happy with that and it works in their family, that’s wonderful! For us it was the opposite. Stan had the better paying career and he loved the challenges and has a high work ethic that drives him. Me? All I ever wanted to be was a housewife, a good one. He didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand him. But we adjusted, compromised and shifted our expectations and now we value each other’s contributions to our working marriage. We’ve finally come to the general agreement where each of us shines in our area of expertise and we appreciate each other.
If I could give any young couple advice, it’s to be aware of your differences and be sure you can handle them before you walk down the aisle. If you aren’t sure, wait. That doesn’t mean you should wait and sleep together, live together as though you were married. God very specifically tells us that sexual intimacy should only be between husband and wife. My Mother used to tell me, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk free?” Young people today are bombarded with sex and are told constantly that sex outside of marriage is fine. But it’s really very stupid. If you give it out (and that’s BOYS and GIRLS) you have devalued yourself. You are a treasure that should be treated with utmost respect. If the opposite sex is pressuring you, and you capitulate, you have let THEM dictate to you and thus have devalued yourself to yourself and others. You have allowed someone else to tell you what to do with your own body. You have allowed yourself to be used. And young men today seem to see girls as a public toilet to be used and flushed. They expect girls to satisfy them and then drop them and move on. And girls let the boys do it. That’s what I don’t understand. Girls, be real, you don’t have to let men use you. You don’t have to cater to a guy’s worst perversion. You don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You can walk away. It doesn’t matter what others may say as long as you still have your integrity and sense of value. You are a gem, a hidden treasure, a child of God. No one has the right to make you feel any less than that. Treat yourself as the valuable treasure you are. Don’t let someone else disrespect you and treat you as a piece of garbage. And today, girls can be just as disrespectful of guys as guys are of girls. They put on the big come-on and then laugh at you when you don’t respond to them. Let them laugh. They don’t determine who you are or how you feel about yourself. Don’t give in to them and don’t let them rob you of your value. If you put out easily, then why should they take on any responsibilities? If a fellow can get what he wants from you for nothing, why should he take on the responsibility of a wife? If a girl can get what she wants from a guy, why should she take on the responsibility of a husband? You become just a cheap trinket that lasts only as long as they see glitter and then they toss you aside. God’s way is the best way and brings a better chance of they kind of love and relationship that we all long for deep inside.
Sometimes I think if you made a list of all the things that can ruin someone’s life, some people go down the list like it’s a “bucket list”, checking things off. They are making themselves miserable with their own two hands. Life has enough lemons without us growing our own lemon trees. I can’t help it if a tornado destroys my house. But I don’t have to destroy my house with my own two hands. Let’s look at some of the things I’m talking about.
When you do these things you are setting yourself up for life failures not life success. You don’t have to do any of these things. God warns us not to. Not because He is a killjoy, but because you are hurting yourself and those who love you and are within your sphere of influence.
So God’s idea of marriage is far better for all involved and we should strive to do what He prescribes as best. If you’ve already messed up, He forgives and you can start over with His help. There is nothing you can do that He can’t forgive. Just ask Him and be set free!
So we know God loves His people and wants an intimate, loving relationship with us. He wants to be involved in our lives. We also know that no matter how many times we mess up, He loves us and comes after us to rescue us and draw us back into right relationship with Him. He forgives as soon as we realize and repent. We have only to call.
But the wife who leaves her loving and attentive husband for other men is unfaithful. She is not satisfied with her husband no matter what he does to prove his love for her. He provides for her, protects her, showers her with gifts and good things, he gives her his attention and treats her lovingly and tenderly. But it’s never enough. She’s leaving their bed to look out the window to see who is outside. She calls to the men in the street, catches their eye, waves at them. She leaves her husband and goes out to meet other men who make her excited for a short while. She likes feeling illicit and enticing. But it never lasts long so she goes looking for someone else. Before long life catches up to her. She has to have money to take care of herself and her needs and she has to prostitute herself. She has to have more money to make herself look good so men will want her. She has to buy high heels, diaphanous gowns or short skirts, heavy makeup, wigs. Before long even that isn’t enough. She will be standing almost naked in the streets and men won’t hardly glance at her. As she gets older and her lifestyle takes it’s toll, she needs to spend more to try and keep her looks. She also finds that more and more she has to resort to perversions to keep men interested and coming back. The first time she pole dances may be exhilarating but the 50th time she’s losing her luster and the 500th time she’s just a hag humping a pole. She has no future and no money for a future. No man will be interested because she’s given herself freely to any man. She’s a used-up throwaway and she did it to herself. Please understand that I realize some girls, boys, young women/men are kidnapped, given drugs and used in human trafficking. They didn’t have any choices. It was forced upon them. It’s a sickening slavery that is evil to the core and it’s not the victim’s fault. I’m just following the analogy of the whore of Babylon.
So when we follow this thought, we see God’s desire for a pure and holy marriage with His Bride. We also see that the “Bride” has often, through her own choices, run around on her Husband. The Husband goes searching for His Bride and tries to bring her back to safety and love. When she continually refuses, He must discipline her or risk her eternal loss. Eventually she repents and goes home. But she does it over and over again. Thank God, He is one who is ever faithful, there is no shadow of turning with Him. He is always there for us to cry out to and run to His arms. He loves us even though we are unfaithful. He forgives us every time we turn back to Him.
Therefore, in the Bible, when we see this whore of Babylon, this prostitute or harlot, we can begin to understand how the symbolism of marriage, and then of harlotry, relates to God and His people. This Babylonian Empire was the largest world empire of the time. It had great riches and power. God used that empire as a tool to drive His people back to Him. But Babylon, as a whole, did not worship and serve the only true God, Jehovah. They had idols and idolatrous practices. Because they were so rich, powerful and impressive, all the world’s leaders cozied up to Babylon to receive her favors (just like the prostitute). They became the crowd around the throne, the hangers-on, the posse. They were always trying to get something from the King of Babylon. They were making the power plays and politicking around the throne. Always jockeying for position and favors. Does that sound familiar? It should. Human beings have been doing it around kings, presidents, dictators, heads of state, religious leaders, rock stars, movie stars, tycoons and the rich since Adam and Eve left the garden. In fact, you can go all the way down to the lowest rungs and still find someone jockeying around trying to get noticed and climbing the ladder on the backs of others. So Babylon is symbolized as a prostitute because she is rich, attractive, impressive, powerful, influential. At her height, everyone wanted her and wanted to be like her. But she faded and now is a ruin in the desert. Because she symbolizes the world empire of Babylon, a godless and pagan nation of great wealth and power, she also symbolizes any grand world power that tries to bully their way onstage without God. Especially the last one, the one-world government of the anti-Christ and his idolatrous one-world religion. While he’s at his height, everyone left in the world (except for those who are saved during the Great Tribulation) will desire what he offers. They will leave all thoughts of God and Christianity behind and lust after this powerful leader and his false prophet. They will find out too late that the whore of Babylon is really a pit of hell. They have invested everything, even their eternal spirits, into this harlot and been led by the nose into idolatry. As the old saying goes, “They sold their souls to the devil.”
Lamentations 1:8-9 8 Jerusalem has sinned greatly and so has become unclean. All who honored her despise her, for they have all seen her naked; she herself groans and turns away. 9 Her uncleanness stains her skirts; she did not consider her end. Her downfall was astounding; there was no one to comfort her. Look, O LORD, on my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed!
Revelation 17:3-4 3 So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it. 4 The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality.
In our past study of Revelation chapters we found a beast like this mentioned before. You can go back and look at my studies on these chapters.
Revelation 12:3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: a huge red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads.
Revelation 13:1-2 1 Then I saw a beast with ten horns and seven heads rising out of the sea. There were ten royal crowns on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 The beast I saw was like a leopard, with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave the beast his power and throne and great authority.
Suffice it to say that the beast probably represents a bunch of nations being subsumed by one more powerful nation and the final fulfillment is the government of the anti-Christ and his false prophet, influenced and led by satan. The woman may represent the one-world religion that the anti-Christ and his false prophet institute. She rides on the back of the Beast, the world empire of the anti-Christ. She may represent a “religion” but is not a religion of the one true God. She has aligned herself with the anti-Christ and gives him and his government a spiritual “thumbs up”. She has sold out her soul and merely pretends to be spiritual and religious. She only has the pomp and circumstance of religion but no true relationship with God.
The description of the woman has her:
Wearing purple and scarlet clothing Wearing beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls Holding a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality For a little difference, let’s look at Verse 4 in different translations:
Revelation 17:4 (New International Version – NIV) The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
(King James Version – KJV) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
(English Standard Version – ESV) The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.
(Berean Literal Bible – BLB) And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, holding a golden cup in her hand, being full of abominations and the impurity of her sexual immorality.
(Christian Standard Bible – CSB) The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, jewels, and pearls. She had a golden cup in her hand filled with everything detestable and with the impurities of her prostitution.
(Contemporary English Version – CEV) The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet robes, and she wore jewelry made of gold, precious stones, and pearls. In her hand she held a gold cup filled with the filthy and nasty things she had done.
(Jubilee Bible 2000 – JB2000) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and of the filthiness of her fornication;
(Young’s Literal Translation – YLT) and the woman was arrayed with purple and scarlet-colour, and gilded with gold, and precious stone, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and uncleanness of her whoredom,
(New Living Translation – NLB) The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality.
In Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
adorned = κεχρυσωμένη (kechrysōmenē) = Verb – Perfect Participle Middle or Passive – Nominative Feminine Singular Strong’s Greek 5558: To gild, adorn with gold. From chrusos; to gild, i.e. Bespangle with golden ornaments.
In the different translations, it’s been translated as “arrayed”, “dressed”, “decked”, “adorned”, “wore”, “gilded”.
with gold = χρυσίῳ (chrysiō) = Noun – Dative Neuter Singular
Strong’s Greek 5553: A piece of gold, golden ornament. Diminutive of chrusos; a golden article, i.e. Gold plating, ornament, or coin.
In the different translations, it’s been translated as “gold”, “jewelry made of gold”.
of abominations = βδελυγμάτων (bdelygmatōn) = Noun – Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong’s Greek 946: An abominable thing, an accursed thing. From bdelusso; a detestation, i.e. idolatry.
In the different translations, it’s been translated as “abominations”, “abominable things”, “everything detestable”, “filthy and nasty things” and “obscenities”.
impurities = ἀκάθαρτα (akatharta) = Adjective – Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong’s Greek 169: Unclean, impure. Impure (lewd) or specially, (demonic).
In the different translations, it’s been translated as “impurities”, “filth” and “filthiness”, “uncleanness”.
sexual immorality = πορνείας (porneias) = Noun – Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong’s Greek 4202: Fornication, whoredom; met: idolatry. From porneuo; harlotry; figuratively, idolatry.
In the different translations, it’s been translated as “sexual immorality”, “adulteries”, “fornication”, “prostitution”, “whoredom”.
Jeremiah 51:6-7 6 Flee from Babylon; escape with your lives! Do not be destroyed in her punishment. For this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; He will pay her what she deserves. 7 Babylon was a gold cup in the hand of the LORD, making the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations have gone mad.
“Prosperity, pomp, and splendour, feed the pride and lusts of the human heart, but are no security against the Divine vengeance. The golden cup represents the allurements, and delusions, by which this mystical Babylon has obtained and kept her influence, and seduced others to join her abominations. She is named, from her infamous practices, a mother of harlots; training them up to idolatry and all sorts of wickedness. She filled herself with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus. She intoxicated herself with it; and it was so pleasant to her, that she never was satisfied.” – Matthew Henry Commentary
Ezra 9:10-12 10 “And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11 which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. 12 Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’
When God brought the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt, and after they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, God leads them to the Promised Land. He tells them to go in and take the land which meant killing and displacing thousands of natives. Does that sound harsh to you? It did to me. It seemed to parallel the European colonists and explorers coming to the Americas and taking the land from the Native Americans. But when you look at Ezra 9, a reason is given: it “is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness.”
The Canaanites were descendants of Noah’s son Ham through Ham’s son Canaan born after the Flood. Canaan was cursed because of his and his father’s sin against Noah (Genesis 9:20–25). In some passages, Canaanites specifically refers to the people of the lowlands and plains of Canaan (Joshua 11:3); in other passages, Canaanites is used more broadly to refer to all the inhabitants of the land, including the Hivites, Girgashites, Jebusites, Amorites, Hittites, and Perizzites. They were a wicked, idolatrous people. When Moses and the Israelites came to the Promised Land, he sent in 12 spies. Let’s take a quick look at that story because it is fascinating!
Numbers 13:21-33, 25-32 21 So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo-hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, dwelled. It had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.
23 When they came to the Valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes, which they carried on a pole between two men. They also took some pomegranates and figs. 24 Because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut there, that place was called the Valley of Eshcol.
25 After forty days the men returned from spying out the land, 26 and they went back to Moses, Aaron, and the whole congregation of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They brought back a report for all the congregation and showed them the fruit of the land.
27 And they gave this account to Moses: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and indeed, it is flowing with milk and honey. Here is some of its fruit! 28 Nevertheless, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We even saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly conquer it!”
31 But the men who had gone up with him replied, “We cannot go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are!”
32 So they gave the Israelites a bad report about the land they had spied out: “The land we explored devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw there are great in stature. 33 We even saw the Nephilim there—the descendants of Anak that come from the Nephilim! We seemed like grasshoppers in our own sight, and we must have seemed the same to them!”
The Canaanites were giants and fierce warriors. The last verse has the spies saying there were “Nephilim”, sons of “Anak” there. These were giants in the Bible. For my study of them on my blog go to Giants In The Bible . These were no innocent, peaceful tribes. The Nephilim were the result of human women and demons. The land was inhabited by the “Canaanites,” who were comprised of several different groups, one of which was “the Canaanites,” “Amorites”, “Hittites” and many others also mentioned. In the Bible, “Canaan” was one of the names used for the land; the inhabitants by default, were “Canaanites.”
Genesis 10:15-19 Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon, in the direction of Gerar, as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha
Genesis 15:18-21 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates; the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites”
“Canaan” was the term for the land that became “the Land of Israel” while “the Amorites” was a term for the main group that inhabited the land before the conquest. “Amurru” literally means “west”. The peoples of Mesopotamia, called Amorites, are the people west of the Euphrates River all the way to the borders of Egypt. In religion, they worshiped many gods. The principal god was El. The jurisdiction over rainfall and fertility was delegated to Baal, or Hadad. Other important deities included Resheph, lord of plague and the nether world; Kothar, the divine craftsman; Asherah, consort of El; and Astarte, goddess of fertility. They committed human sacrifices, including child sacrifice. Women could serve as priestesses and fertility gods included “worshiping” with Temple prostitutes. The customs of the Canaanites in their idolatry, violence and immorality are why God would command the Israelites to go in and take the land and destroy it’s inhabitants. He also commanded them not to intermarry with the land’s prior inhabitants because, after marriage, they would then likely follow into their spouse’s religion and begin worshiping idols and participating in the despicable practices of those idolatrous religions.
Deuteronomy 7:1-8 1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, and He drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you to defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction.a Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy.
3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 because they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and He will swiftly destroy you.
5 Instead, this is what you are to do to them: tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, cut down their Asherah poles, and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His prized possession, above all peoples on the face of the earth.
7 The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than the other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your fathers, He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 20:1-4, 10-18 When you go out to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army, 3 saying to them, “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle with your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be alarmed or terrified because of them. 4 For the LORD your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.”…
10 When you approach a city to fight against it, you are to make an offer of peace. 11 If they accept your offer of peace and open their gates, all the people there will become forced laborers to serve you.
12 But if they refuse to make peace with you and wage war against you, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God has delivered it into your hands, you must strike down every male with the sword. 14 But the women, children, livestock, and whatever else is in the city—all its spoil—you may take as plunder, and you shall use the spoil of your enemies that the LORD your God gives you. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are far away from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
16 However, in the cities of the nations that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 For you must devote them to complete destructiona —the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you, 18 so that they cannot teach you to do all the detestable things they do for their gods and cause you to sin against the LORD your God.
The New Living Bible – NLB – paraphrases verses 15-16 15 “But these instructions apply only to distant towns, not to the towns of the nations in the land you will enter. 16 In those towns that the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession, destroy every living thing.”
Did Joshua and the Israelites drive out or kill every inhabitant of the land? NO! They disobeyed God’s commandment:
Judges 2:1-3 1 The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said to the Israelites, “I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I swore to give your ancestors, and I said I would never break my covenant with you. 2 For your part, you were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars. But you disobeyed my command. Why did you do this? 3 So now I declare that I will no longer drive out the people living in your land. They will be thorns in your sides,a and their gods will be a constant temptation to you.”
Judges 3:1-6,10-18 1 These are the nations the LORD left to test all the Israelites who had not known any of the wars in Canaan, 2 if only to teach warfare to the subsequent generations of Israel, especially to those who had not known it formerly: 3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived in the mountains of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath. 4 These nations were left to test the Israelites, to find out whether they would keep the commandments of the LORD, which He had given their fathers through Moses. 5 Thus the Israelites continued to live among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 6 And they took the daughters of these people in marriage, gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
Let’s stop and look at an important issue here. Some people look at God’s command to kill every inhabitant of the land of Canaan as mass genocide and because of this they can’t trust a God who orders genocide and murder. What kind of God commands the Israelites to kill every man, woman, and child in order to take their land? In today’s environment, many are promoting guilt over how the Europeans came and took the land from the Native Americans and killed them for it. My comment on that is sin. The Native Americans were sinners as were the Europeans. We all are and conquest, war, death, destruction are the results of sin. Mankind has made war and conquest since Cain murdered Abel. There are no human beings, clans, tribes, nations, empires that aren’t built without war, death and destruction. And someone always loses. When they had the chance, the Native Americans also killed, made war, destroyed, kidnapped, scalped, and some had religions based on mass human sacrifices and genocide. The Native Americans were no more peaceful than any other human group. They are no more innocent than the Europeans. They were human beings with a sin problem just like the Europeans, Asians, Blacks, Indians, etc. We are all sinners. As far as the diseases? Disease is no respecter of persons. The same plagues and diseases that had wiped out millions of people in Europe, came over with the explorers and had it’s way. That’s all there was to it. There were those who died and those who survived just like in Europe. They didn’t know anything about germs, viruses, bacteria, medical and scientific things so it wasn’t like they planned on using a plague to kill the Native Americans. They didn’t know they carried it with them. And whoever showed up on the far shore, even if they had come to bring peace and light, could have carried the diseases with them.
But let’s get back to God ordering the Israelites to commit genocide. If you don’t know the entire Bible and you don’t know God, then this seems harsh and unforgivable. I know God and I know how loving and merciful He is because He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to save me even though I was just as much a despicable sinner as everyone else. I was a “deplorable” in the literal sense. I’m no more special than Joe Blow or Jane Doe. Knowing we were sinners and rightly deserved an eternity of Hell, God still loved us and sent His Son to die for us so we could be saved. Every sinner has the chance to accept Jesus Christ and be forgiven and go to Heaven. It’s just a matter of accepting Jesus.
So you can’t tell me that God is cruel, vicious, or evil when He has done everything to bring us safely to Him in love. Why then did He order the mass murder of the inhabitants of the Promised Land?
If you read the entire Bible you begin to see how loving, merciful and just God is. He didn’t have to save anyone; He didn’t have to bless anyone; He had no obligation to protect and provide for anyone. But He did. From Adam to the last man on earth, God has done the reaching out. He has been the one initiating a reconciliation in love. He’s the one who has warned and wooed to try and draw all to Him. He sent prophets to warn, He’s given His Word so that we may know. If people choose not to read His Word, not to listen to those whom He sends, including His Son, then it’s their fault and not His.
All mankind descended from Adam and Eve and God had an intimate, loving relationship with them before they sinned. They knew God, communed with Him. They weren’t ignorant of what a relationship with God could be like because they had experienced it. After they sinned, God provided a blood sacrifice for them. He killed animals in order to “cover” them with animal skins. So when Cain and Abel worshiped God by bringing gifts, they both knew that a blood sacrifice was the correct way to approach God because of their sin. But Cain disobeyed God and tried to approach God with what he wanted to bring, not what was required. I.e., he was doing just what satan and his parents did. They tried to do things their way instead of God’s way, they wanted to be in charge, in control. They wanted to be god. But even though Cain knowingly and willingly made this mistake, God patiently and lovingly corrected him and warned him.
Genesis 4:3-7 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain did not accept God’s instruction and refused to take the warning. Sound familiar? We all do it. We want to be god and we want to do everything our way and be in control. We want to be not only our own god, but we want to be god over everyone else too. If everyone would only do what we tell them to do, everything would be hunky dory. We want everyone to do what we say. They should have the same hairstyle we have, wear the same clothes we do, vote the way we vote, join the same political party, sing the same songs, etc. If they aren’t mini-mes, there is something wrong with them.
God wants us to realize and live in the truth. The truth is we cannot be god. We weren’t created to be god and do not have the capacities to do the job of God. For instance, we can’t read someone’s unspoken thoughts nor do we know the secrets of their hearts. In fact, there is so much information that we don’t have, our decisions and choices could be detrimental and deadly. We can’t trust ourselves or anyone else because we don’t have all the information and, if we did, our brains couldn’t process all the information to make the right decision. It’s an impossibility. I believe if all God’s wisdom, knowledge and information suddenly flooded into my physical brain, it would probably just explode. I cannot physically or emotionally handle it and wouldn’t want the responsibility that comes with the job. So why do I still want to be god?
So God is doing me a favor in teaching me this truth. He’s not busting my balloon, He’s just keeping me real. If I can’t do the job, who can? Of course, God can. And He’s telling me to trust Him to do it and do it correctly and in the right time. The greatest thing I can learn is to let go and let God. God is uniquely qualified and has the power to do all things. And He does all things in love. He doesn’t do something to torture someone or for any evil purpose. He does all things in love. We can trust Him. He’s not out to get us. Now, bad things do happen to His people. Does that mean He’s deliberately torturing us or trying to rain on our parade? No. Sin is in the world and it is in the world due to choices Adam and Eve made. Because of sin, we all are born in sin and have the desire to sin. So illness and death come from sin. When God created the world and the first man and woman, there was no illness or death. Sinful people do sinful things that affect us. God didn’t want anyone to kill, rape, abuse, molest, torture, kidnap… those are choices that sinful people made. But, if we trust God, He can take all things and use them to make us better rather than worse. And the worst case scenario for a Christian is that we die and what does that mean? We go to Heaven to spend eternity in bliss! We will never again experience pain, death, sorrow, separation, etc.
So why did God command the Israelites to kill the Canaanites? Those people did know the real God. They could have chosen God at any point in their personal histories or their national histories. They could have chosen God and His ways but they, as a nation, didn’t. Now, let’s say one family in Canaan did desire the true God, were drawn to Him and reached out to trust Him. God would not let that family down. He would have sent them on a trip or led them to move from that land so they were protected. Or He would have led them into the camp of the Israelites to ask them for protection and to convert from the religion of their people. And, worst case scenario again, if they were killed, God would take them to Heaven. God never abandons His true People! But, as a nation, these groups of people rejected God and pursued idols that justified their worst inclinations. They committed human sacrifice (murder) even to child sacrifices. Yes, they would sacrifice their innocent children in order to get something
The one key to weight loss success that most health professionals ignore
Have you lost weight so many times you cant count, yet you cant seem to keep the pounds from finding their way back to your body? Are you tired of the frustrating roller coaster ride of losing a few pounds and gaining them back, usually leaving you weighing more than when you first started?
If so, you arent alone. Weight loss is a billion dollar industry for a good reason. Its something that seems so simple but manages to elude the best of us. So, whats the key to weight loss that most everyone is missing but, if used, all but guarantees permanent weight loss success ?
Ask yourself this: when you decide to lose weight, whats the first thing you do? You change your behaviors, right? You eat better and start to exercise. And, even if you get great results following this type of program, you dont stick with it long enough to enjoy the benefits of this type of lifestyle. Why?
Its not because you dont have strong enough willpower or are doing things wrong so quit blaming yourself. Its actually a flaw in the weight loss process that most professionals seem to ignore. A fat reducing review can help you produce a clear describe of what you demand to focus on to achieve your fat reducing purpose if you’re a beginner; or serve as a reminder for these who are at an advanced or more improve stage of their weight loss program. Promptly after are seven steps that can serve as methods for your personal weight loss system. The first thing that one must understand is that losing weight and losing fat is not exactly the same thing. Many weight loss applications have misled people into believing that it is the same, but most diets and weight loss plans only work by leading to a person’s body to eliminate more muscle tissue and water than actual body fat, more help please visit The Fat Loss Factor . And unfortunately its a flaw that has cost millions of people billions of dollars in their attempt to find a healthy weight, not to mention the frustration and aggravation along the way.
What is the flaw?
If you try to drop weight by changing yourself from the outside first, youre doomed for failure. It doesnt matter if you have the best personal trainers or a top notch dietician planning your meals, because any progress you make will only be temporary in nature.
Its like painting a car that is starting to rust. You can put a fresh coat of red lacquer on it to make it look all shiny and new, but the rust will soon start to show through the finish. Its just a matter of time.
Sure, you can continue painting it every few months to hide the spot every time it rears its ugly head. But, as any auto body repair business will tell you, the only way to solve the problem permanently is to remove the rusty panel and replace it with strong, sturdy metal.
Such is true when it comes to overeating. First, you have to figure out the root cause of your weight. In other words, you have to isolate the rusty panel. Once youve discovered the reason you go to food when youre not physically hungry, its time to replace that panel in your life.
Let go of the problem causing spot that is doing nothing but deteriorating your body and soul and replace it with something stronger and more positive. Something that professes strength, determination and sheer power.
When you embark on this journey, give yourself time to go through the process. If youve used food to avoid emotions or deter negative feelings for years upon years, youre probably very good at it and it may take a while to uncover what lies behind your overeating.
How best to determine the root cause if youre truly unsure? Talk to a friend that is willing to be honest with you. He or she may have some insight about you that youre failing to recognize.
Another option is to hire a personal development coach. This is an objective person that can help you figure out what hurdles you face when it comes to reaching your goals and work with you to come up with ways to overcome them. Basically, its someone that helps you problem solve, encourages you to reach your maximum potential and teaches you how to develop your strengths and lessen your weaknesses.
Once you learn the reason behind your weight, then and only then will you be able to make changes to your outer behaviors. And, when you do, they will be life long and give you the permanent results you so desperately crave and so whole heartedly deserve.
Change your inside and you will definitely change your outside. Its basic science. Where your head goes, your body follows. Its time to lead them both in the right direction.
If you want help along the way, click to subscribe to these articles and youll get health, fitness, weight-loss and motivation tips delivered conveniently to your email inbox.
Until next time, keep up the fight!
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2:00PM Water Cooler 5/9/2019
— shinebox (@ljzaz) May 9, 2019
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?”–James Madison, Federalist 51
“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.”–Frank Herbert, Dune
“2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [ RealClearPolitics ] (RCP average of five polls). Biden up 20, everybody else down.
“*” = New candidate.
* * *
Readers, that impeachment section with the table took longer than I thought. I will return shortly with a festival of Biden, etc. –lambert UPDATE I read up on the “Protect Democracy” project, and got wrapped around the axle. UPDATE All done. Life’s rich pageant!
Biden (D)(1): Former Vice President Joe Biden visits a taco shop in Los Angeles, where he pledges to never speak ill of a fellow Democratic presidential candidate pic.twitter.com/15KTHCTaO9
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 9, 2019
Biden (D)(2): Union guy: According to an early donor list mistakenly attached to an invitation to Biden’s first fundraiser, the event raised at least $46,850 from employees and family members of attorneys at the union-busting law firm Cozen O’Connor. https://t.co/uDE1osrIa6 pic.twitter.com/8yDGkLBuoo
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) May 2, 2019
Buttigieg (D)(1): “Buttigieg is the only top 2020 candidate not offering staffers health care yet” [ NBC News ]. “But as he staffs up a national campaign, the upstart Democratic presidential candidate isn’t providing health care coverage to any of his own campaign workers, an NBC News review of his campaign spending disclosures shows. Instead, Buttigieg is providing a monthly stipend to workers to buy insurance on their own through the Obamacare exchanges, his campaign said, with plans to offer health care in the future. The practice stands in contrast to the other leading presidential candidates this year, as Democrats have made a point of aligning their internal practices with the policies and values they are emphasizing on the campaign trail.” • What Buttigieg’s staffers need is a union. Sanders staffers have one.
O’Rourke (D)(1): “Jeff Berman’s delegate strategy helped make Barack Obama president” [ Politico ]. “The low-profile Democratic lawyer who played a central role in Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s election campaigns, and who literally wrote the book on the obscure and crucial art of delegate selection, has gone to work for Beto O’Rourke… The hire of the detail-oriented, fastidious Berman also indicates that O’Rourke plans to emulate Obama in building a technical campaign machine under the surface of what he hopes will feel like a movement.” • Brokered convention, anyone?
Sanders (D)(1): “Open Forum: Drivers for ride-booking services deserve better pay and job protections” [ San Francisco Chronicle ]. “We can no longer accept a situation in which a tiny handful of Americans become extraordinarily wealthy by paying their workers starvation wages. Today, the median worker at these ride-booking services makes between $8.55 and $10 an hour . And yet in 2017, Lyft’s CEO made more than $41 million and Uber’s CEO was paid $45 million last year. Additionally, Uber executives this week are expected to become instant millionaires from the company’s multibillion-dollar initial public offering on Wall Street… And now, shock of all shocks, President Trump — the man who campaigned as a champion of workers — is actively helping companies rip off workers…. Trump’s administration not only rescinded previous rules designed to classify gig economy workers as full-time employees, his Labor Department just this past week issued a ‘get out of jail free card’ to employers such as Uber and Lyft to let them keep classifying their workers as ‘independent contractors.’ That makes it harder for these workers to join unions, and harder for workers to sue when they are being fleeced.” • Right in Pelosi’s backyard, too. Cheeky!
Sanders (D)(2): “Bernie Sanders’s political revolution on foreign policy, explained” [ Vox ]. “It took every ounce of political will fighting Saudi Arabia’s powerful lobby, a legacy of hawkish anti-Iran lawmakers — both Democratic and Republican — and President Trump’s personal affinity for MBS to pass the War Powers Resolution through the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-run House, where it was led by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) (who is, incidentally, now Sanders’s presidential campaign co-chair). It was the first time Congress has ever adopted such a resolution, directing Trump to remove troops involved in a war Congress never authorized. When it passed, Sanders went on Fox News and urged Trump to sign it. The next day, Trump vetoed the resolution. Even so, for Sanders, the War Powers Resolution has served as a clarifying issue for his 2020 foreign policy message. The fight against the Yemen war fits so perfectly within his worldview that to listen to him explain it, you can hear the echoes of his famed speeches about millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street. ‘MBS, who I think has the unique distinction of owning the largest home in the world and the largest yacht in the world — he should not be determining American military and foreign policy,’ Sanders told me with a smile.” And from the coiner of the term, “The Blob,” Ben Rhodes: “‘It’s no small achievement to essentially unite the entire Democratic caucus in both houses behind this progressive position and also to peel off a little bit of Republican support,’ Rhodes said. ‘It shows there is actually progressive momentum in the Democratic Party that wasn’t there when Obama was in office.’” • No kidding, but I imagine the Sanders campaign will take it.
Sanders (D)(3): “Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez Propose 15% Cap on Credit Card Interest” [ Bloomberg ]. • I’m glad to see AOC back in the fray, but shouldn’t that decimal point be moved one digit right left? As in 1.5%? But more importantly: “The two self-identified democratic-socialists are set to propose legislation on Thursday capping rates on credit card and other consumer loans and letting post offices offer low-cost basic financial services , such as loans and checking and savings accounts.” • Awesome!!!! And stealing Elizabeth Warren’s issue, too. (Plus I can see AOC demolishing the usual yammering about the Post Office and big gummint with a video about how much she loves the Post Office (maybe while sending a package). I see nothing wrong with the Post Office that funding won’t cure; it’s obviously an enormously tough and effective institution. Oh, and put a WiFi antenna on top of every Post Office building so there’s free municipal WiFi. Why not?
Trump (R)(1): “Trump political machine sets massive fundraising target” [ Politico ]. “President Donald Trump’s outside political machine is setting a $300 million fundraising goal and is pitching major GOP donors on a plan to target six swing states that are likely to decide the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the group’s blueprint…. With Democrats embroiled in a crowded primary, the Trump 2020 financial network is beginning to take shape. On Tuesday, around 250 Republican bundlers from across the country met in Washington for a retreat sponsored by the Trump campaign. Senior party figures including Vice President Mike Pence and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel attended… Republican officials briefed attendees on plans to build a traditional fundraising program that would include establishment-aligned bundlers who snubbed Trump in 2016.” • Sounds like the Trump campaign isn’t placing its bets on small donors. But I bet impeachment will help with that!
Warren (D)(1): “My comprehensive plan to end the opioid crisis” [ Medium ]. “ Life expectancy in the United States dropped again in 2017, part of the longest sustained decline in a century — one largely driven by the opioid epidemic. More than 685,000 Americans have died from a drug overdose in the United States this century, and it’s getting worse… Life expectancy in the United States dropped again in 2017, part of the longest sustained decline in a century — one largely driven by the opioid epidemic. More than 685,000 Americans have died from a drug overdose in the United States this century, and it’s getting worse…. The CARE Act proposal is modeled on the Ryan White CARE Act, providing resources directly to first responders, public health departments, and communities on the front lines of this crisis — so that they have the resources to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those who need it most…. This week, I’ll visit Kermit, West Virginia, a small town located along the Kentucky-West Virginia border. Kermit has been hard-hit by the opioid epidemic — and not by accident. Over a period of just a few years, this town of only 400 people was flooded with approximately 13 million prescription opioid pills, all delivered to a single local pharmacy — that’s more than 30,000 pills per resident… I have a plan to pay for it: my ultra millionaire tax on the richest 75,000 families in America.” • Finally , Warren is singing my song!
NH: “Trump Bigger Factor than Obama for 2020 Dem Primary Voters” [ Monmouth ]. “In a field of 24 announced and potential candidates, Biden holds a clear lead with 36% support of registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters who are likely to participate in the February 2020 primary. He is followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 18%.” More importantly: “The overwhelming majority (68%) of likely Democratic voters prefer to have a nominee who would be a strong candidate against Trump even if they disagree with that candidate on most issues. If they were forced to choose, just 25% say they would favor a Democratic candidate who they are aligned with on the issues even if that person would have a hard time beating Trump. Among those who say having a nominee that builds on Obama’s legacy is very important to them, 79% prioritize beating Trump while just 15% say they want a candidate who they agree with on the issues even if he or she would be weaker against the incumbent.” • Reifying “electability.” Worse, a beauty contest for electability. Trump wasn’t electable. And here we are (although, to be fair, Trump had Clinton’s help ).
“Statement by Former Federal Prosecutors” [ Medium ]. From the statement:
Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.
The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming. These include:
· The President’s to fire Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort;
· The President’s to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to exclude his conduct; and
· The President’s efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign.
Lambert here: IANAL , but I notice the thrice-repeated word “effort.” Apparently, these efforts all came to nothing, or else the prosecutors would surely have listed them in their indictment. It’s the same with all Trump’s business dealings with Russia, such as they are; they never came to anything, either. No hotels, nothing. So I’m not sure that impeaching Trump for pufferies of smoke, as opposed to real fire, would make sense in, well, the West Wing. (Nixon, for example, wiped destroyed physical evidence. So far as I know, Trump has done nothing like that.) There is also, so far as I know, no universally respected figure to sort the smoke from the fire: There is no Sam Ervin, for example; and no Judge Sirica, so it’s hard to see how the whole effort won’t be framed, and rightly, as a partisan effort. And please don’t talk to me about “the rule of law” or “saving the Republic” when Obama didn’t prosecute any bankers for accounting control fraud after the Crash, and torturers, perjurers, and entrapment artists like Brennan, Clapper, and Mueller are all over the airwaves.
Trying to put myself in Pelosi’s shoes: RussiaRussiaRussia did no harm in the midterms (41 seats!), so maybe impeachment will have the same effect. The only real worry is suburban Republicans; the Prosecutors’ letter and similar should help with that. On the bright side: Impeachment will suck away all the oxygen from #MedicareForAll, Green New Deal, etc; will amplify calls for war with Russia; will justify continued McCarthyism; and will strengthen the control of our allies in the intelligence community of Presidential selection and election legitimacy. Best of all, since Republicans hold the Senate, our stand on “principle” will go nowhere, so (1) we won’t have to govern, and (2) the donor class won’t be upset, although (3) there will be plenty of small donor money and #Resistance oomph. Really, what’s not to like?
Stepping out of Pelosi’s shoes, I thought I’d see if the data from at the Statement told me anything. I downloaded the CSV and made this table:
Three things: First, the letter is truly bipartisan — in fact, more Republicans than Democrats! In consequence, the professional classes really hate Trump. But then we knew that. Finally: I should actually compliment the “career prosecutor” signatories who put their name to the Letter; that shows courage. That said, and again, Toto, we’re not in the West Wing anymore. If they, or anybody, thinks that the rule of law was in great shape until Trump came along, they’re living in a fantasy world.
“Hundreds of Former Federal Prosecutors Would Indict Donald Trump” [John Cassidy, The New Yorker ]. “[T]he letter was aimed at William Barr, the current Attorney General, as well as Trump. Indeed, the letter can be interpreted as an unprecedented rebuke of a sitting Attorney General from former employees of the department he oversees…. As early as next week, or, perhaps more likely, after he has joined the ranks of former Justice Department employees, later this month, Mueller himself may get the chance to say in public whether he, too, agrees with this assertion.” • So, cornering Mueller! And: “Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that helped to organize and publicize the letter at the request of this group, and verify the identity of its signatories, was founded by two lawyers who worked in the White House under Barack Obama.” • Oh. I looked at the About page of their site–
“What is Protect Democracy?” [ Protect Democracy ]. One nugget : “The Protect Democracy Project focuses on research and public education to confront threats to our democracy, as well as litigation.” If they’re engaged in litigation, I can’t find any mention of it on their site. Perhaps it’s been stood up in consideration of litigation to come? More: “Protect Democracy was conceived by a group of former White House and Administration lawyers and experienced constitutional litigators, all with a deep understanding of how the federal government works. As we were the ones tasked with implementing and enforcing the norms that have constrained presidential power for decades, we know what those guardrails are and when those in power may be tempted to violate them. As we defended past presidents against legitimate oversight and illegitimate attacks, we also know how to leverage tools outside government to prevent the exploitation of power within it. One thing that we know about those tools, however, is they require an engaged public—they require all of us to unite to make them effective.” • Read the whole thing; it’s an interesting exercise in cant. Hats off to the Norms Fairy! Also, unity (unconsciously belied, hilariously, by the blue color scheme). And of course you could ask “Where were you when ____” all day with these guys. Like: “Where were you when Obama whacked a U.S. citizen with no due process?” Or “Where were you when Holder decided that “ collateral consequences ” made it impossible to prosecute big banks?” The gall, the incredible gall.
Realignment and Legitmacy
Meet the Blue Dogs empowered by the mid-terms:
“Meet the Democratic Counterrevolution’s Self-Appointed Leader” [ The Intercept ]. “Breaking down Tlaib, Omar, and their allies on the left has been one of Gottheimer’s primary goals since the November elections. He has worked assiduously to carve out a role in the Democratic caucus as something of an avenger, a centrist proud of his centrism and willing to take the fight directly to the squad of freshmen trying to push the party in a progressive direction. He even has a name for his handpicked adversaries: ‘the herbal tea party.’” • “[T]he herbal tea party” is pretty good. I wonder if it was developed for him professionally? Funny how this “unity” thing goes only one way…
— Andrew Perez (@andrewperezdc) May 7, 2019
Ouch: Pelosi would be a great leader if she were accomplishing massive amounts on “climate change, health care, voting rights, income equality, etc.” Dems aren’t doing anything on anything. Who cares about their seats? https://t.co/tVBwujgszt
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) May 8, 2019
Donors? The electeds? Media and intelligence community assets? Factions in the oligarchy? Lots of people care!
Concrete material benefits: Getting ready to bring Burrito Brigade burritos and homemade hot sauce to hungry 4J teachers. They have a long march to Salem today and need the fuel! #RedForEd pic.twitter.com/T8AuJ5W8Bq
— Eugene DSA🌲🌹🤝 (@DSA_Eugene) May 8, 2019
As I keep saying: Get on out there and serve the working class. Who else does that? Republicans? Democrats?
International Trade, March 2019: “Pulled down in part by a sharp narrowing in the deficit with China, the US monthly trade deficit came in at a relatively moderate $50.0 billion in March. This is slightly lower than expectations” [ Econoday ]. “Today’s report comes on the same day that US and China trade talks are entering what may be their final and unamicable resolution. Going into a possible tariff war, the imbalance in cross-border trade remained a heavy but lightening burden for the US economy.”
Jobless Claims, week of May 4, 2019: “Initial unemployment claims may have pivoted higher, in line with this year’s lay-off data in the Challenger report” [ Econoday ]. “Initial unemployment claims may have pivoted higher, in line with this year’s lay-off data in the Challenger report and a factor that may likely limited expectations for US payroll growth.”
Producer Price Index (Final Demand), April 2019: “Producer prices were moderate in April but probably a little less so than the headlines suggest” [ Econoday ]. “Pointing to positive pressure for rates is a strong bounce back in fees for portfolio management services, a factor related to the strength of financial markets which Jerome Powell cited at last week’s FOMC that would likely help move the core PCE index from its annual 1.6 percent rate back toward 2 percent.”
Real Estate: “‘Dead Malls’ Are Still Being Used To Satisfy Consumers: Amazon’s Approach” [ Yahoo News ]. “Amazon is buying out abandoned malls, the same malls that they put out of business, and converting them into fulfillment centers. These “ghost malls” provide many advantages to Amazon’s fulfillment centers conversions. Malls provide the fulfillment center with sufficient size needed to run their extensive operations. The malls are usually located in residential areas allowing Amazon to get its goods out to consumers quicker and more efficiently. Malls are typically built close to highways to make it easier/quicker for consumers to make it there in a timely fashion. This is useful to Amazon’s converted fulfillment centers for obvious logistical reasons, goods are able to come and go from the distribution centers seamlessly. These abandoned malls all have the necessary infrastructure already in place, such as sewage, electrical lines, gas lines, and water. Having this infrastructure already established makes Amazon’s conversion quicker and allowing the fulfillment center to be up and running sooner. Amazon is able to transition these forsaken voids in communities into productive business centers that create quality jobs for residence. This shift in retail from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce is precisely that: just a shift. These malls are still being used to fulfill consumer needs, it is just done in a different way.” • Except the public space aspect of the mall is gone.
Manufacturing: “Former Boeing Engineers Say Relentless Cost-Cutting Sacrificed Safety” [ Bloomberg ]. • This article is a must-read, but this near the end is important: “Now Boeing is seeking FAA approval for the 777X as an update of an existing model, the 777. Internal tensions about this approach are being exposed in the proceedings of a wrongful termination suit brought by a former Boeing engineer, Michael Neely, who claims he was fired in 2016 after citing design and safety problems. Neely had been working for Boeing’s space and defense operation in Alabama when he was brought to the Seattle area to help define a plan to adapt an electrical load management system from an earlier model of the 777. Disagreements escalated as a deadline approached for Boeing to send plans for the system to the electrical contractor, a GE unit. Neely argued that reusing the previous system, essentially an enormously complicated and computerized version of a fuse box, wasn’t adequate for the new design and didn’t meet FAA standards, according to emails filed in the suit. Within months, GE, too, had objected, saying the system would need to be significantly expanded.” • Yikes. Remember the battery fires on the 787? And then, they buried the lead. The final paragraph:
[Muilenburg] his public comments about the 737 Max, though, he has shown an extremely limited range of vocabulary, and he frequently boils his plan down to this: a software update. He insists that the design and certification process for the Max went exactly as planned. On March 27, Boeing invited 200 airline representatives, regulators, and pilots to Seattle for a first look at the changes it had made to the MCAS software. A day before, a group of engineers was summoned to a session with Muilenburg and Kevin McAllister, head of the commercial airplanes business. McAllister spoke emotionally, and a staffer wept in the background. Then Muilenburg fielded five or six questions with the same artfully vague responses he’s provided reporters. A company spokesman says Muilenburg was greeted warmly. An engineer present had a different take: It was, he told colleagues, “a nothingburger.”
Muilenburg won’t leave until he’s carried out first or defenestrated. So I guess that’s what’s will have to happen!
Manufacturing: “Here’s How This Key Boeing Supplier Is Coping With the 737 MAX Grounding” [ Yahoo Finance ]. “Spirit, a one-time wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, is still highly dependent on the company. Spirit is responsible for about 70% of the 737’s structure, as well as a range of engine components and wing parts, and the 737 accounts for about half of Spirit’s annual sales…. Boeing and Spirit in April signed an agreement that allowed Spirit to keep current production levels in place, with all airframes above Boeing’s production rate being paid for upon completion but stored at Spirit facilities.” • Hmm. I wonder if anybody’s watching Spirit’s facilities to see if they’re filling up (like shorts watch Tesla lots).
“Study: U.S. Fossil Fuel Subsidies Exceed Pentagon Spending” [ Rolling Stone ]. “The United States has spent more subsidizing fossil fuels in recent years than it has on defense spending, according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF found that direct and indirect subsidies for coal, oil and gas in the U.S. reached $649 billion in 2015. Pentagon spending that same year was $599 billion .” • How ya gonna pay for it?
“Grading conservation: Which reserves defend forests?” [ Science Daily ]. “A group of scientists from Michigan State University (MSU) have focused on what makes a protected area the most effective at preventing deforestation. Preserving forests means more trees to suck up greenhouse gasses, as well as prevent erosion, mitigate flooding, purify water and quell sandstorms…. The group evaluated the effectiveness of China’s 472 protected areas in reducing deforestation from 2000 to 2015. The study, reported in this month’s journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research, concluded that had not the reserves been established, the protected area’s deforested parts would have been 50 percent larger. The estimated amount of carbon sequestered by those forests that avoided deforestation within protected areas was about 1,271 megatons per year. A tree can sequester one ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old, according to North Carolina State University.” • Hmm. A forest, as opposed to a plantation, surely sequesters more carbon than its trees alone?
“Mapping the world’s free-flowing rivers” [ Nature ]. “Free-flowing rivers (FFRs) support diverse, complex and dynamic ecosystems globally, providing important societal and economic services…. Only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres remain free-flowing over their entire length and 23 per cent flow uninterrupted to the ocean. Very long FFRs are largely restricted to remote regions of the Arctic and of the Amazon and Congo basins. In densely populated areas only few very long rivers remain free-flowing, such as the Irrawaddy and Salween.”
Black Injustice Tipping Point
“How one reporter got the Sandra Bland cell phone video” [ Columbia Journalism Review ]. “After all the open cases around the incident had wrapped up, [Brian Collister, a lead investigative reporter for KXAN,] decided to file a records request to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)….. In September of that year, following a series of records requests, Collister got his scoop: a 39-second video shot by Bland on her cell phone during her traffic stop. The video, which Collister obtained that month, captures Brian Encinia, a state trooper, drawing a stun gun on her at close range. “Get out of the car!” he shouts. “I will light you up!” Encinia tells her to get off the phone. Bland says “I have a right to record” before apparently complying with the demand.” • A couple of morals to this story: (1) Public Records Requests are extremely important; I can’t imagine why eliites haven’t choked them off; and (2) local TV stations seem to have picked up some of the slack on reporting from local newspapers. Readers, would you agree?
“Reconstruction, one of the most misunderstood chapters in American history” [ CBS ]. “[Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates] said Reconstruction is one of the most misunderstood chapters in American history, when black men could vote, and would be elected to represent Southerners in Congress. [Correspondent Mo] Rocca said, ‘You go and you ask people on the street who the first black person was elected to the U.S. Congress, they’re gonna guess it’s the 1960s, the 1970s.’‘And they would never guess it was Hiram Revels from Mississippi,’ said Gates. Hiram Rhodes Revels was born free and served as a chaplain to black regiments during the Civil War. On February 25, 1870 he was sworn in as a Senator from Mississippi, an office once held by Jefferson Davis, who left the U.S. Senate to become president of the Confederate States of America.” • I wonder if there’s a statue of Revels anywhere. Like the Capitol Rotunda. Apparently not . And I won’t hold his being a college adminstrator against him!
“House Republicans Say Democrats Should Answer for MMT in Hearing” [ Bloomberg ]. • This is probably driving the sort of Democrat who thinks Republicans can be placated crazy.
News of the Wired
“Workers Love AirPods Because Employers Stole Their Walls” [ The Atlantic ]. “Now that open offices are the norm, their limitations have become clear. Research indicates that removing partitions is actually much worse for collaborative work and productivity than closed offices ever were. But something as expensive and logistically complicated as an office design is difficult to walk back, so, as Jeff Goldblum wisely intones in Jurassic Park , life finds a way. In offices where there are no walls, millions of workers have embraced a work-around to reclaim a little bit of privacy: wireless headphones.”
“Took On the American Cheeseburger, and It Defeated Me” [ McSweeney’s Internet Tendency ]. • Ouch.
“Rural areas drive increases in global obesity” [ Nature ]. “But some research findings have indicated that the levels of overweight and obesity are increasing faster in rural than in urban areas, even in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)4. This is likely to be linked to the fact that rural areas in LMICs have begun to resemble urban areas, because the modern food supply is now available5 (Fig. 1) in combination with cheap mechanized devices for farming and transport. Ultra-processed foods are becoming part of the diets of poor people in these countries, and there are reports that infants are even being fed with these foods.”
“126 Minutes With Ani DiFranco The folk singer on her memoir, Hadestown, and reckoning with the 1990s’ [ Vulture ]. “‘Everywhere we went,’ DiFranco writes, ‘some woman seemed to be dedicating herself to protecting some other theoretical woman who might be triggered or feel tacitly oppressed by some tiny detail of the known universe … the quest to make everyone seem happy all the time seemed to have led to a world of micromanagement.’” • An interesting artist; she started her own label when she was twenty so she’d never have to take corporate money. Impressive! I had stepped off the popular music train when she came rolling along, sadly. DiFranco seems to have had an interesting career and an interesting life.
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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here . Today’s plant (JF):
With the cryptic note: “Pictures.” I should do more with bulbs, but my much loved invasives take over their space…
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Readers : Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So do feel free to make a contribution today or any day. Here is why: Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage . When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of small donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals. So if you see something you especially appreciate, do feel free to click this donate button:
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If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you! This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by Lambert Strether . About Lambert Strether
Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it. View all posts by Lambert Strether → Post navigation
Why Men Who Marry Feminists End Up The Happiest
Why Men Who Marry Feminists End Up The Happiest Get link May 07, 2019 Feminism is probably not what you think it is. The word – and the movement – have been distorted and warped in a million different directions. It is simply the belief that men and women are equal human beings and should be treated as such. That said, everyone should be a feminist, but we have a long way to go. The guys who end up loving feminists are the best men around. They often identify as feminists themselves. Because they are comfortable with the term, and with their own masculinity, they truly appreciate and celebrate the inherent beauty of the womanhood of their partners. They are not intimidated by female strength and empowerment. Feminists love them back because they know that they will never have to rein in their true selves around these men. So why marry a feminist? Marry her because she owns who she’s become and where she started. Her journey to the proud acceptance of her divine feminine was not an easy one but she pushed ahead anyway. Marry her because she knows what she wants and when she chooses a partner it’s a deliberate decision. If she’s picked you, understand that it’s not something she takes lightly. Feminists love more deeply than you can ever imagine. They know that finding a person who celebrates them for their courage, individuality, and grit is not a given. Marry her because she’s got a wicked sense of humor and she’ll make you belly laugh when you least expect it. Her wit developed from the need for lightness in her life. She’s had so much heavy (stuff) to deal with that she had to bring some silliness into the mix. She doesn’t take herself, or anything else, too seriously. There’s no time for that. She’ll make you the happiest you’ve ever been because she is your equal partner in all things. Not only will she love you fiercely, but her dedication to her own goals and ideals will also inspire and motivate you in your personal endeavors. She accepts you fully for who you are. She gives back to you exactly what she expects – respect, devotion, dedication, honesty, and happiness. Her feminism allows her to not only embrace herself as she is but to celebrate herself for it. This, in turn, gives her the freedom to joyfully spread love to everyone and everything around her. You are the closest person to her, the person who gets the best and brightest of her shine. Her zest for her everyday existence is intoxicating. Like it or not, you too will get caught up in her strong appreciation for the gifts she’s given. She knows that each day is a blessing, and she knows that you too are a blessing. She sees exactly who you are and instead of finding fault or criticizing, she simply loves you. She loves you for all the quirks and idiosyncrasies that make you unique. To her, there is no such thing as a character flaw. Her power lies in accepting herself and everyone else at face value. You can’t help but smile around her. She’s an infectiously blissful human. Rather than wasting her time with negativity and gossip, she spends it uplifting those around her, whether they identify as male, female, or something else entirely. Most importantly, she holds herself to a high standard and will inspire you to be your best. She’s your equal and she wants to walk alongside you through a fulfilling, happy, meaningful life. Every day she strives to fuel your ambitions because your happiness is as important as her own. You feed off each other in the most beneficial way possible. You hold each other through the pain and spark laughter despite the tears. Life is not an easy journey – choose a feminist to share it with you. She’ll always have your back and she trusts that you have hers. She cherishes the fact that you celebrate her for who she is, and in return, she will bless you with the beauty of her singular, powerful love. Marry her because she is a (eff…ing) warrior queen with unbridled passion for the world. She’ll give you more joy than you ever thought possible. Make sure you never take her for granted, and you’ll bask in the precious happiness of a feminist partnership.
Rory Arnold ruled out for Brumbies, but injury opens door for Darcy Swain
ACT Brumbies lock Rory Arnold has been ruled out of the team’s clash against the Japan Sunwolves, opening the door for rookie Darcy Swain to make his mark on Super Rugby. Arnold has joined the Brumbies’ casualty ward after damaging the ligaments in his ankle last week, ruling him out for at least one match in his farewell Australian season. Swain is set to be called into the Brumbies’ starting second row to partner Sam Carter in what will be the eighth game of his career. The Brumbies are wary of underestimating the dangerous Sunwolves, who have won just two games this season but are regarded as a team capable of causing massive upsets. Brumbies coach Dan McKellar will finalise his side on Thursday, with back-rowers David Pocock, Lachlan McCaffrey and Rob Valetini likely to be ruled out for at least one more week. “Rory’s not as bad as first thought, but that’s the beauty of having next week off [for a bye]. He may be a chance to play [the next game] against the Bulls,” McKellar said. MORE CANBERRA SPORT “[McCaffrey] is unlikely. Is he 100 per cent fit to play and perform well rather than just fill a jersey? If he’s not, we won’t push him out there. “The Sunwolves are a difficult side to prepare for at the best of times, it’s difficult to track combinations or players because these guys appear from anywhere. “The first year or two the Sunwolves might have been easybeats of the competition, but that’s certainly not the case any more. They’re a very well coached side and our boys are well aware of that.” Swain made his debut last year and has since established himself as a lock of the future given the Brumbies are bracing for the departure of Arnold and Carter at the end of the year. The 22-year-old has played the past five consecutive games since signing a two-year contract extension to stay in Canberra. He is a part of the group of young guns coming through the Brumbies system, which includes outside centre Len Ikitau, Mack Hansen, Tom Ross, Ryan Lonergan and Rob Valetini. “Len was good last week … that’s the beauty of our pathway and academy system,” McKellar said. “Those guys have been in our pathway system for three years or more. We don’t rush them into professional rugby. We develop them and make sure when they get their opportunity, they’re full of confidence.” SUPER RUGBY ROUND 13 Sunday: ACT Brumbies v Japan Sunwolves at Canberra Stadium, 4.05pm. Tickets available from Ticketek. https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/fdcx/doc759slbsufg8guesdl7d.jpg/r2_421_5565_3564_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg May 9 2019 – 6:00PM Rory Arnold ruled out for Brumbies, but injury opens door for Darcy Swain Chris Dutton Brumbies ACT Brumbies lock Rory Arnold has been ruled out of the team’s clash against the Japan Sunwolves, opening the door for rookie Darcy Swain to make his mark on Super Rugby.
Arnold has joined the Brumbies’ casualty ward after damaging the ligaments in his ankle last week, ruling him out for at least one match in his farewell Australian season.
Darcy Swain is in contention to replace Rory Arnold in the Brumbies’ second row. Picture: Karleen Minney
Swain is set to be called into the Brumbies’ starting second row to partner Sam Carter in what will be the eighth game of his career.
The Brumbies are wary of underestimating the dangerous Sunwolves, who have won just two games this season but are regarded as a team capable of causing massive upsets.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar will finalise his side on Thursday, with back-rowers David Pocock, Lachlan McCaffrey and Rob Valetini likely to be ruled out for at least one more week.
“Rory’s not as bad as first thought, but that’s the beauty of having next week off [for a bye]. He may be a chance to play [the next game] against the Bulls,” McKellar said.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
Poey’s future in the air as comeback nears Jarrod Croker’s touch of pure class to little kids Model trades catwalk for National Capital Rally Is Joey Leilua’s NRL season over? Canberra’s A-League bid is the real deal, FFA says “[McCaffrey] is unlikely. Is he 100 per cent fit to play and perform well rather than just fill a jersey? If he’s not, we won’t push him out there.
“The Sunwolves are a difficult side to prepare for at the best of times, it’s difficult to track combinations or players because these guys appear from anywhere.
“The first year or two the Sunwolves might have been easybeats of the competition, but that’s certainly not the case any more. They’re a very well coached side and our boys are well aware of that.”
Swain made his debut last year and has since established himself as a lock of the future given the Brumbies are bracing for the departure of Arnold and Carter at the end of the year.
The Brumbies will play the Japan Sunwolves at Canberra Stadium on Sunday. Picture: Karleen Minney
The 22-year-old has played the past five consecutive games since signing a two-year contract extension to stay in Canberra.
He is a part of the group of young guns coming through the Brumbies system, which includes outside centre Len Ikitau, Mack Hansen, Tom Ross, Ryan Lonergan and Rob Valetini.
“Len was good last week … that’s the beauty of our pathway and academy system,” McKellar said. “Those guys have been in our pathway system for three years or more. We don’t rush them into professional rugby. We develop them and make sure when they get their opportunity, they’re full of confidence.”
SUPER RUGBY ROUND 13
Sunday: ACT Brumbies v Japan Sunwolves at Canberra Stadium, 4.05pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.