Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Obadiah [Book Review]

"Obadiah" is the thirty-first book of the "Holy Bible," and it was written by Obadiah himself. It is also ridiculously short. It has one chapter, and I had the entire thing read in about four minutes. It was over so fast, that I was still sort of wide awake with nothing better to do. Reading the Bible is pretty much the last thing I do at night, and I didn't really want to start a new one until I had this blog written... so... I just sort of lied there until sleep took me away.

"Obadiah" concerns the descendants of Esau who are called the Edomites. You may remember Esau as the brother of Jacob who sold his birthright for food. It was a dumb thing to do, but it pretty much doomed his entire line. The Edomites never really went in the right direction for over a thousand years.

The prophet Obadiah is basically publicly denouncing them for their sinful ways and casting sentence on them. That's pretty much what prophets do. And with that, I don't really have anything else to say on it. I mean... What do you want from me? It was 21 verses long.

Like with "Joel," it's hard not to recommend a book this insanely short. Might as well do it. As for me, I need too keep this train moving forward. I still have a whole lot left to cover.

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Monday, January 17, 2022

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Amos [Book Review]

"Amos" is the thirtieth book of the "Holy Bible," and it was written by Amos himself. It is another short book. It took me about thirty minutes to read through.

"Amos" continues with another doom-promising prophet of God, but it does it in its own way and has a particular part that I found amusing. I have no choice to to keep this brief since the book is rather light on content.

The thing that I enjoyed the most about "Amos" was the listing out of "charges" against the different cities of Israel. He lists out the number of charges and then further explains them in brief. He then casts sentence upon them which is often described as some sort of burning with fire. It was very orderly like that you might hear in a court of law.

The charges cover the first few books. The last half of the book is merely an essay on the fact that those same sentenced people, if still alive after the sentence is passed, should seek to do good and shun evil in order to be saved. Although this may seem obvious, you have to understand the people God was dealing with. They were not very smart.

Amos himself was persecuted for what he was saying, similarly to Jeremiah. They pretty much asked him what the heck he was doing, yelling all these charges at them. As usual, nobody liked the prophets of God because they never said anything very friendly or nice.

The only other thing I'd like to mention is that there was an interesting passage about the day of the Lord being "darkness and not light. Even very dark, and no brightness in it." It is referring to the fact that when God has his dues against sinners, he entirely abandons them and lets them fall miserably, but it also reminds me that light came from God to begin with. Without God there would be darkness which is His natural state. Before the beginning, God existed in a void of darkness. This passage reminded me of that, and I thought it was cool.

I totally recommend "Amos." It reads well, and is one of the easier to understand prophets. It is totally worth it to see the charges leveled against all the stupid people. They entirely had it coming.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Joel [Book Review]

"Joel" is the twenty-ninth book of the "Holy Bible," and it was written by Joel himself. It's extremely short. I mean... I pretty much read it all in one go. Took me about twelve minutes. There is not a lot to talk about, so this is going to be kind of a short blog.

As with most of the books of this section of the Bible, this is another prophetic book. In the case of "Joel," God is calling his people to obedience after the invasions of Tyre, Sidon, and Philistia. There is also some sort of problem with pestilence and a food shortage that the people are going through. It's all intended to punish the Israelites for their trespasses against God.

After the book makes its accusations, it promises that God is in control and that he will bring about what sounds like some sort of revival, where even the people who are not prophets will be filled with God's spirit so that they will also prophesy. It seems to be speaking of a very good end as long as they can get their act together. And at the end of the day, the day belongs to the Lord, which is something the book says a few times.

That's really it. It's only three chapters long. I don't like to get into lessons when it comes to the Bible. It's mostly a history book to me. If you need a lesson, then read it for yourself. I am rather fascinated in the prophets. It is rather cool that God picked a number of men that was actually allowed to hear His voice. It's too bad that so many people disregarded them.

It's hard not to recommend a book that's this short. Even if you don't like it, it's not really wasting that much time. Give "Joel" a read.

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Monday, January 10, 2022

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Hosea [Book Review]

"Hosea" is the twenty-eighth book of the "Holy Bible," and it was primarily written by Hosea himself. It's a short one. It only took me a couple of days to wrap it up. I didn't actually know anything about this one going into it.

The character Hosea is not someone I am or was very familiar with. I don't remember any stories of him from my churchy past. As it turns out, he is one of the prophets, like Jeremiah and Ezekiel who spoke of the punishment that Israel rightly deserved. Coming after "Daniel," which takes place after the capture of Babylon, it seems we have to take a step back to the time before. At least, that's how it seemed to me. I was a little confused at the beginning of it.

Whatever the case may be, Hosea is prophesying the fall of Israel, but he is doing it in a very strange way. There is no anger here--only disappointment and regret. God relieved his anger with "Ezekiel." Now he is just sad. This is a very depressing book to read, because it shows God in what appears to be a depressed state.

The book uses the similitude of a broken relationship, such as with a husband and wife, where the wife is whoring herself to other people. God sees Israel as a wife who has cheated on Him. As He is a self-professed jealous God, that is not an incorrect way for Him to view it. After doing so many things to make His people happy, they still turn from Him like a bunch of brats. At this point, He has had enough. All the anger of God is gone. He has simply moved on in sadness, for a time.

Through the prophet Hosea, He calls out all the groups who betrayed Him and also calls out their just punishments. The book is very simple and straight forward. Something you may see as strange is that I honestly feel bad for God. God was let down, and He didn't deserve what He got. I find that a lot of people have difficulties feeling compassion for God, because they seem to have difficulty conceiving of Him. God is a person. He has feelings. He can get depressed. This book proves it.

If you ever lost a friend or had someone you knew for a long time betray you, you'll know what God was feeling. It hurts, and despite being all-powerful, God felt pain. He expresses this pain through Hosea. It's real sad.

I'd only recommend "Hosea" if you are curious into God as a person. If you'd rather see Him as something entirely imperceptible, then you might not even understand what you are reading anyways. Either way, I am glad I read it. Time to move on.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Daniel [Book Review]

"Daniel" is the twenty-seventh book of the "Holy Bible," and it apparently was written by Daniel himself. The reason I use the word "apparently" is because I was a little confused about a particular chapter written by Nebuchadnezzar himself, but my research assures me that the actual writer of the chapter was Daniel. I actually do not know for sure. I try and find out these things, but I usually take much of the wisdom of these learned men with a grain of salt. They could be wrong. How about we just not worry about it.

Daniel marks the moment the Bible picks back up a hero's narrative since the book of "Nehemiah" happened. It's been a long road, but I finally got here. How long has it been since God really loved someone? Well here it is, and his name is Daniel.

What's strange here is that Daniel is actually treated quite well by God in stark contrast to Jeremiah and Ezekiel. This feels a bit more like the story of Joseph which happened, what feels like, ages ago. No kidding; the Bible is a loooooong book. But here we have a captured Jew that becomes a prince among the heathens, and on top of that, he is a prophet.

And what a prophet! He could see angels, the future of kings, and even to the end of time itself. Not bad! Although he had difficulty understanding these things, the point was that he would write them down for posterity.

One thing very interesting about this book is that is shows that God will give power to who He wants. This story takes place finally after the Jews have been captures by Babylon. God chose the heathens to rule over them, but He also wanted them to know that He was real. And He does. Three men living in a hot furnace and one living in a lion's den. None of them came to harm. Things like that can change a person.

But as the book clearly shows, nothing lasts forever. All sins must be accounted for. And it was clear that God was going to give the Jews their kingdom back. I did like this book and I recommend it. It is very brief and it shows that after all those horrible things that God is willing to do, He is still in control and can still find certain persons in the world that are dear to Him. I'm glad I read it.

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Monday, January 3, 2022

Fairy Tale Spotlight: My Personal Problems With the Church

People who know me personally have heard me talk about my personal distain for organized churches. I don't care what denomination it is. I don't like them. They are full of sinners, and most people go to them like some sort of club with righteous benefits. They do it because they think it's the right thing to do, and the whole thing is really just a fictional dream trapped up inside a corked bottle. Christianity is real, but the Church has proven to have very little to do with it at all.

Organized churches are so wrapped up in meaningless tenets, dogma, and misdirected reverence that nobody there really even has a clue what the point of Christianity was actually about. And I get it. In order for a church to be organized, you need those boundaries. It's the nature of the beast. You can't help it. But in an effort to keep people together and happy, they have taken the actual spirit out of the whole thing.

All you do at a church is sit in a pew, listen like a good, little Christian, and then wait eagerly for the sermon to end so you can go get your lunch. That eagerness is not unwarranted. To sit somewhere quietly is not an easy thing for anyone. You might have something to add to the discussion, but to do so would be considered improper. So you just sit there, listening like a good boy, serving your time in hell so you can make it into Heaven.

The truth is that spiritual discussion is the cornerstone of a healthy Christian life. And I get that people can still discuss the sermon afterwards, but why can't you all just look into these things yourself. We got an extremely huge book with a lot of information in it. If you have time to sit in a church, then you must have time to read. Read the book and actually talk it over with your own personal church: your family, friends, people on the internet. Figure it out.

The pointless reverence and rules of a church are only there to keep the restless sheep in their pens. It seems antithetical to the very heart of God to be placed in that situation. We're not the ridiculous Jews of the Old Testament. We are free to pursue God in our own spare time. We can just read the Bible and be Christians from what we learn in that book. (The whole book, mind you. Actually read the blasted thing!)

In the state the organized church is in in this country, I am never surprised when people leave it and end up hating God. Their pitch for him is so bad that I almost want to pat them on the back and say, "Yeah, I don't blame you one bit. Best of luck to ya." The sad thing is that Christianity is really wonderful, and the Church has horribly undersold it. I am very disappointed in them.

But seriously, don't take my word for it. Actually read the book. Read the Bible cover to cover. Compare it to what you were taught in Church. The book is FAR from reverent. It shows God for the crazy, awesome guy that He is! And really, I do think he is awesome. Hilariously awesome. He is entirely not the tight-wad that people have to conform to in a church. Read the book. Just do it. That's all.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Ezekiel [Book Review]

"Ezekiel" is the twenty-sixth book of the "Holy Bible," and it was written by Ezekiel himself. I always like it when that happens. I have a personal fascination about people who write their own stuff. I like to critique their writing styles. As silly as it sounds, I especially like critiquing writers of the Bible. I feel like I am doing something both wrong and right at the same time. It makes me giggle a little. Sorry.

"Ezekiel" is the personal prophesy of one of the "doom and gloom" prophets of the Old Testament that speaks of the fall of Israel at the hands of Babylon. Like in "Jeremiah," I celebrated this because they totally had it coming. Never in my life have I seen people so stupid... Actually I've seen them other places too... sometimes in modern day.

The thing that sets "Ezekiel" apart from other prophets is his very peculiar visions of cherubim. They are these strange 4-faced creatures that attend to God personally. They look so strange that Ezekiel stumbles over himself trying so very hard to make sure that the description is correct. A lot of people struggle to imagine a proper picture of what he saw, and I guess that means that it is just something so alien that... I guess you just had to be there.

It was very clear from the writing of this book that Ezekiel was seeing a vision. This means that he was not actually in the presence of these alien creatures but merely seeing them from wherever he happened to be here on planet Earth. God chose to let him see a number of things which included an exceedingly boring man made of brass. (More on that later.) There was also a vividly described field of skeletons that have all of there muscles, sinews, and skin slowly reform on them until all the people were revived. This was a parable prophesying the return of the Jews, but damn did it sound creepy! Like awesome in its creepiness! There were some top notch CGI effects used in that one!

The writing of "Ezekiel" is extremely precise even to the point of massive redundancies. It was not as bad as Moses, but I could tell that it was very important to the prophet to make sure everything was as accurate as possible. Many of his sentences have included redundancies as a means to make things ultra clear, and I'll give him credit for doing that. There is also an awesome repetition of "And they shall know that I am the Lord!" It solidifies the anger of God towards these idiots that just won't stop doing the horrible, stupid things that they are doing.

On the latter note, God's ire has pretty much topped off. Ezekiel seems to be the conduit for his anger. I can imagine the man did a lot of yelling. I bet he had some terrifying eyes just to make God's point. It would have interesting to hear his actual voice. I bet he sounded like Alex Jones.

As to the man of brass, he introduces the reader to the final section of the book which is a redo of the Tabernacle dimensions and the laws concerning sacrifice. I had to go through all this twice in the books of Moses, and I really did not need to go through it a third time. It was a pain to read and I was glad when it was over. No real ending to this book. It just stops, and I was glad when it was finally over. All the good stuff in this book is on the first half. The final part of this book is extremely boring and redundant, although that was not the fault of the author at all. It's just a mere fact for someone reading the Bible as a whole.

All said, I do actually recommend "Ezekiel." The first half is rife with strange imagery. And the anger of God is actually rather fun and full of masculine energy. But after you get to the man of brass, I wouldn't blame you if you just moved on. Unless you have an interest in ancient carpentry, there's nothing really here for anyone.

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