Category — Contemporary Quotes
Raising children is no easy task. We try our best to do right by God, and to do right by our children, hoping that they grow up to be responsible and Godly adults. We can find good counsel in the Bible to help us, where we learn that it is important to discipline our children, yet there is a balance so that we do not discourage them.
“Spare the rod and spoil the child” – Samuel Butler, 17th Century Poet
We have all heard the quote “spare the rod and spoil the child”, and I’d venture to guess that most of us have thought it came right from the Bible. You might even be reading this right now, sure that it’s wrong, and searching your Bible to find the proof. I had heard it many times before: “spare the rod, spoil the child, it’s in the Bible”.
The actual quote was written by Samuel Butler, a 17th century poet, but it is likely inspired from the Bible verse in Proverbs 13:24, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Very close in meaning but they are not exactly the same; perhaps Samuel Butler was just concisely paraphrasing the meaning.
So the next time someone tells you it’s Bible, you know that it’s NOT really.
April 21, 2013 No Comments
Spring is here, although it might not feel that way yet (have you seen the weather across the country?). As we have just observed the resurrection of Jesus with Easter, in the coming month we can witness the resurrection of nature during Springtime. For today’s post we are sharing some Quotes of Spring, but let’s start off with a very popular quote from Thoreau.
“Spring is a natural resurrection, an experience in immortality.” – Henry David Thoreau
Hardly a Biblical scholar, Thoreau had very liberal religious views and was more of a naturalist looking for God in nature, and Spring is where he finds God’s immortality. While his perspective was secular, when we take a Biblical perspective we surprisingly come to the same conclusion. The Creator of our world has put His fingerprints throughout His creation.
Life itself is a cycle: birth, growth, peak, decline, death. We see this in nature as the four seasons, and every Spring we see the new birth. And every year, as we see the apparent death of the trees and grass in Winter, we then see the miraculous resurrection of Spring. The cycle goes on and on, and every time we experience it, we are experiencing the immortality of God. It is no coincidence that Passover and Easter are in the Spring: Passover marks the birth of a new era of freedom from bondage for the House of Israel, which is of itself a type and shadow of the new era of freedom from sin and death through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m sure God knew what He was doing.
And from the other end of the literary spectrum, here is how Martin Luther saw it.
“Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” – Martin Luther
So as we enjoy the new birth of Spring, let us always remember who designed it and rejoice in the gift of new life He has promised to us all.
Bible Quotes of Spring
Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. – Zechariah 10:1 NIV
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. – 2 Samuel 11:1 NIV
Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. – 2 Kings 13:20 NIV
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, Joab led out the armed forces. He laid waste the land of the Ammonites and went to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and left it in ruins. – 1 Chronicles 20:1 NIV
In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and brought him to Babylon, together with articles of value from the temple of the Lord, and he made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, king over Judah and Jerusalem. – 2 Chronicles 36:10 NIV
They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. – Job 29:23 NIV
When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring. – Proverbs 16:15 NIV
Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame. – Jeremiah 3:3 NIV
They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest. – Jeremiah 5:24 NIV
Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. – Hosea 6:3 NIV
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. – James 5:7 NIV
April 7, 2013 No Comments
In the days of the Old Testament under the law it was eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. Today it seems that it is not much different, do unto others as they have done unto you; render good for good and evil for evil. It is true that we should be agents of good, but should we also be agents of evil?
“Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return.” - W. H. Auden, American Poet
Much of our judicial system had originally been based upon the Mosaic law we find in the Bible. Even our Supreme Court has on its walls and its doors depictions of The 10 Commandments and sculptures of Moses as the preeminent law giver. For any civil society to prosper there must be protection of the innocent and punishment for the perpetrator. That, I believe, is the purpose of such laws that inflict punishment commensurate with the crime. Otherwise, without a proper deterrent, we would have chaos.
But today’s quote is not about justice, it’s about revenge, and those two things are very different. Jesus teaches us that we should be wise as serpents yet harmless as doves. Wise in that we keep ourselves from evil doers, and harmless that we do not seek revenge on those who have injured us. That’s a very tall order, to not want to get back at those who have wronged you, seemingly letting them off the hook. Not only does the New Testament teach us to not seek vengeance, Jesus tells us to pray for those who have hurt us.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. – Matthew 5:44 KJV
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. – Romans 12:19 KJV
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. – Matthew 5: 11-12 KJV
So today, we live in a country that is governed, rightly so, by the rule of law. Therefore we are subject to the laws of this land, and we should also use such laws to protect ourselves and our interests. It is perfectly acceptable to seek justice under the laws of our country. However, in our hearts, for the true disciple of Christ, we must not return evil for evil, for God himself will repay those who harm His people with His righteous judgment. Although it does not come easy, pray for your enemies, do good to those who are not nice to you, for God has promised us a reward in Heaven.
Read another Bible or Not article about those to whom evil is done.
Born in England in 1907 and naturalized as an American citizen in 1946, W. H. Auden was highly regarded as one of the great writers of the 20th century. You can learn more about Auden here.
March 19, 2013 No Comments