"Woe is me!"
Getting past the woe-ishness: there is something about making it to November 1rst after Halloween that causes a big sigh of relief. It's my least favorite holiday. I know there's an attraction in dressing up which more and more adults seem captivated often spending more on their costumes than the little kids. This was the first time in forever that I did not stay home to pass out candy. We get hundreds in our neighborhood. I just got tired of adults sticking their sacks out for trick or treat--not teenagers--adults. I didn't miss the scary costumes at all.
The little ones we saw were adorable at a carnival at a church in our area where we "sojourned" for a time. The light rain didn't deter families from having fun. We took our candy there to give away. The little ones' superhero, Mini Mouse, bee and peacock costumes were so cute. We thought it was great to have sheriff reserve officers there to be a positive influence and keep the peace in a part of town which usually has them busy in other ways. Our teenager had more fun helping out there than at a party later with his friends.
Giving October the boot!
Now that I got that woe over with, the scariest thing coming up is the election!
The Psalmist had some real woes going on. Some say that this and all the rest of the Psalms are called "Psalms of degrees or steps, stairs for ascending, as up to the temple, that these were sung as the priests climbed the fifteen stairs. Well, that probably meant they kinda stumbled on this first step with its woes. Some think it is sung on their return from the Babylonian Captivity. The author is not known. Some say David, some Solomon, Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. These people would be more like the Christian refugees in Syria.
Like Adam Clarke says, "He laments his situation on account of the wickedness of the people among whom he sojourned. They were barbarous and inhuman, enemies to piety and civility. His state was the more intolerable, as it had been of long duration...'My soul hath long dwell...'
I read recently that Iraq was voted to be one of the most hospitable places to visit in the world. Yeah, right. I don't think I would go there on a pleasure trip in the near future. As long as ISIS is roving and there is infighting among the tribal religious groups there that they can't even fight against the common enemy together.
'My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. ' A restless, barbarous, warlike, and marauding people. 'I am for peace.' We love to be quiet and peaceable: but they are continually engaged in excursions of rapine and plunder. It is evident the Psalmist refers to a people like the wandering Arabs, who live constantly intents, and subsist by robber; plundering and carrying away all that they can seize. The poor captives wished them to cultivate the arts of peace, and live quietly." (Adam Clarke)
The Prince of Peace is coming!
But the peace He brings is not the peace the world gives.
In other words, it is peace with God that gives us inward peace
while we pick up a sword and join the battle.
"Woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.
I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war."
This is not "glamping," glamorous camping. They are in tents because they have been displaced from their homes by war. All they want is peace. But even Jesus says, "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword...He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10:37-38) It is because the other side will always want war. So, we need the armor of God. This life is not a tiptoe through the tulips, but a spiritual battle. To tell the truth, we as Christians are just sojourners here on earth. Our real home is heaven when this world folds and pulls up its tent stakes.
"And there was war in heaven .
Michael and his angels waging at with the dragon.
The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough,
and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
And the great dragon was thrown down,
the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan,
who deceives the whole world,
he was thrown down to the earth,
and his angels were thrown down with him.
The I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
'Now the salvation, and the power,
and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come,
for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down,
he who accuses them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb
and because of the word of their testimony."
Now, back to Halloween.
The reason I don't like it is so many choose to dress up as the dark side. Why? Why would they identify with the wrong side, the losers. It just is a bruise to my soul because it is done in the face of God. So, goodbye October, welcome November!