The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of October 4-10, 2015, is Micah 6:6-8. Micah, like many prophets, foretold of Israel’s destruction because she had abandoned the way of the Lord, choosing instead to worship false gods and follow the demands of godless leaders. In this week’s reading, Micah answers a question that many were asking, that many are still asking: What does God want?
With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:6-8, AMP)
What does God want? Is it a question you have ever asked? Everyone struggles with this question at some point in their life. What does God want from me? Micah’s answer then is still a valid answer today. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider if you are asking the wrong question. You know what God wants. How are you going to give it to Him?
October 9, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Micah
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Author: Micah, a prophet
Date: approximately 750-686 BC
Context: The book of Micah contains three cycles of judgement and salvation. After a brief introduction of Micah, he begins the first cycle: judgment is pronounced in 1:2-2:11, and salvation is reassured in 2:12-13. Chapter 3 contains the second pronouncement of judgment, while chapter 4 and 5 contain the second reassurance of salvation. The final judgement is pronounced in 6:1-7:7, and salvation is assured in 7:8-20. In each cycle, Micah presents the nature of God’s complaint, a proclamation of the Lord’s certain punishment for the Israelites many sins, and a prediction of the salvation by God yet to come, including the Davidic Messiah. Micah’s predictions include the destruction of Samaria, the invasion of Judah, the fall of Jerusalem and the temple, the Babylonian deportation, the return for exile, and the restoration. The lessons in Micah can still be applied today. He warns against social injustices, governmental corruption, unscrupulous people in positions of authority, selfishness, and religious apostasy.
World History: Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos. Micah, prior to being a prophet lived in Moresheth, a small town approximately 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
Update: Monday, October 5, 2015 12:19 pm EDT
Benjamin Robert Cole, Sr., was scheduled to be executed at 3 pm CST, on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. His execution has been stayed following a request by the state's Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Fifty-year-old Benjamin has been convicted of the murder of his nine-month-old daughter Brianna on December 20, 2002. Benjamin has spent the last 10 years on Oklahoma’s death row.
The execution of Benjamin has been stayed following a request by Oklahoma's Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Thursday, October 1, 2015. Pruitt requested that all currently scheduled executions be stayed following a mix-up in lethal injection drugs, discovered hours before the execution of Richard Glossip on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. Pruitt requested the indefinite stays of executions in order to allow "time to evaluate the events that transpired on September 30, 2015." The evaluation will include how drugs that were approved for use in executions were procured, and how it was not immediately noted that the drugs were incorrect. The executions have not yet been rescheduled.
Benjamin grew up in a household that abused drugs and alcohol. Allegedly, Benjamin was given drugs and alcohol at a very young age by his parents. Benjamin also alleged that he was sexually abused by various family members. Benjamin had previously been married to his first cousin. Benjamin had been convicted in 1987, in California, for abusing his infant son, who was named after him.
On December 20, 2002, Benjamin Cole was playing video games, when he was interrupted by his crying nine-month-old daughter, Brianna. Cole attempted to get Brianna, who was lying on her stomach, to stop crying. When he was unsuccessful, he took her feet and bent them towards her head, ultimately flipping her over. This action snapped her back in two and tore her aorta. Cole then went back to playing video games.
Later that night, Cole and his wife noticed that Brianna was having difficulty breathing. Cole attempted to perform CPR, while his wife called for an ambulance. Brianna died that night. Cole initially lied about what had happened that day, confessing only when confronted with the autopsy results. He was sentenced to death On December 8, 2004.
Benjamin Cole was scheduled to be executed earlier this year, however his execution was stayed pending the results of a ruling regarding the use of midazolam by the Supreme Court of the United States. Upon the Supreme Court approving the use of midazolam in executions, Oklahoma rescheduled Benjamin’s execution.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Brianna. Please pray for strength for the family of Benjamin. Please pray that if Benjamin is innocent or lacks the mental competency to be executed, evidence will be presented before his execution. Please pray that Benjamin will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.
October 2, 2015
IDPN 2015 Issue 40
Iran: On Sunday, September 20, 2015, a 19-year-old unnamed prisoner was executed by hanging at Mashhad’s Vakilabad Prison. The young man was executed for attempted to force, through threats and violence, divorced women to marry him.
On Wednesday, September 29, 2015, seven prisoners were executed by hanging in two separate prisons. Six prisoners, including three brothers, were hanged in the central province of Yazd. The names and crimes of theses six inmates were not released. The seventh prisoner, 27-year-old Mohammad-Reza Fiouji, was executed by hanging in a prison in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. His crime was also not reported.
Thirty-one-year-old Soheil Arabi was arrested in November of 2013, over Facebook posts which were deemed insulting to the founder of Islam and for insulting the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Soheil was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. Recently, a higher court overturned his death sentence, instead sentencing Soheil to 90-days in prison and to read 13 religious books and provide a five-to-ten page summary of each book, in addition to writing an article about religion referencing at least five of the books. He is also required to study theology for two years and report his progress to the proper authorities every three months. Soheil was also given a separate seven-and-one-half-year sentence for insulting Ayatollah.
Malaysia: Twenty-three-year-old Muhammad Safwan Mohamed, a former student at Cybernetics International College of Technology, has been sentenced to death for the murder of 23-yera-old Zara Eleena during the early morning hours of March 9, 2012. He was also accused of the murder of Zara’s 56-year-old father, Omar Peter Abdullah. Zara had been a teacher at the college. Three friends, 23-year-old Mohamad Zul Shahril Suhaimi, 22-year-old Mohamad Sharif Matt Noh, and 23-year-old Assisi Aizat Ibrahim, were also sentenced to death on the same charges.
Mark arrived home from a hard day at work. His wife berated him for forgetting to take out the trash before he left that morning. She told him he would not be eating until he fixed the leaky pipe. An hour later, Mark realized the problem was not one he could solve. His wife called him “useless” and “pathetic.” All evening she continued to criticize him. She began swearing at him when he went to make himself dinner and relax before going to bed. Mark is a victim of domestic abuse.
Jenny cracked open her door and peered out. She had heard her parents screaming and cursing at each other. Her father reached over and slapped her mother, knocking her down. He picked her up and pushed her up against a wall, continuing to yell. Her mother fought back, escaping his grasp. Jenny wished she did not have to hear the yelling every night and see the fights. Jenny is a victim of domestic abuse.
Katie and her husband both work hard. When they get home, he cooks dinner and cleans the kitchen, while she works at laundry and vacuuming. They enjoy a meal together and watch their favorite television show together, laughing at the ridiculous situations the characters get themselves into. Katie is tired and has an early morning. She wants to go straight to sleep. Her husband has other plans. He ignores her protests. Katie is victim of domestic abuse.
Eric is in third grade, struggling with multiplication, just as he struggled with addition and subtraction for the past two years. He does not understand his homework, but does not want to ask for help. His mother, who used to help him died, and his father’s girlfriend laughs at his questions, calling him “dummy” and “slow,” asking him how he can be so stupid. Eric is a victim of domestic abuse.
October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month.* Domestic violence is a topic that has recently been brought into the spot light by accusations against star athletes like NFL players Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and Ray McDonald, and professional soccer player Hope Solo.
Although the issue has received recent attention, domestic violence is not a recent problem. As illustrated above, it takes many forms, from the often identified physical violence, to the lesser thought of emotional and psychological abuse. Domestic violence can also include sexual and verbal abuse. There are over 1.3 million reported cases of domestic violence each year, however it is estimated that the true number of domestic abuse cases is significantly higher as most, especially male victims, are never reported.
For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. (1 Corinthians 7:4, ESV)
God’s plan for a relationship between a man and woman is one of harmony. Eve was created to help Adam. Their relationship was one of unity, never fearing the actions of the other. Sin has corrupted this relationship. Instead of unity and mutual respect, the relationship is one of fear. We must work hard to show our children, and the world, the relationship God designed. Children who are abused or witness abuse are far more likely to enter an abusive relationship.
Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.] (Colossians 3:21 AMP)
Paul warns against being hard on children, yet he is not speaking out against discipline. Discipline is necessary to teach children and is done out of love.
Abuse is done out of anger, frustration, and the desire to gain control and manipulate. We are all children of God. We can turn to His examples throughout the Bible when disciplining our children.
We, at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, encourage anyone who is being domestically abused, or knowns of someone being abused, to contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also visit their website at http://www.thehotline.org.
*Domestic violence and domestic abuse are two terms used to legally describe what are essentially the same crimes. The term used depends on the state and some states assign certain crimes to a certain term. For the purpose of this article, the two terms are used interchangeably.
Review of the Lord’s Prayer
During 2013, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries is introducing a new learning tool on our website. The new tool is entitled “Prayer Life” and is intended to help you communicate with the Lord. God wants a personal relationship with you through His Son, Jesus Christ. Prayer is how we communicate with God and the following is the how Jesus taught His disciples to pray. The following scripture is found in the Book of Matthew chapter 6, verses 9-13.
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed beyour name.Your kingdom come,your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Give usthis day our daily bread,and forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors.Andlead us not into temptation,butdeliver us fromevil. (Matthew 6:9-13, ESV)