Yes, Unless…

In the years that the young man David spent fleeing from jealous King Saul, a story in 1 Samuel 23:1-14 tells of a time when David actively led his band of outcasts to rescue a town of Judah, named Keilah, from marauding Philistines. Before David set out on his rescue mission, he inquired of the Lord whether he should go or not and was assured that he should go. Some of David’s men were afraid, so David inquired a second time and was again assured by God he should go, and that God would give him victory over the Philistines. David did win a great victory, as promised, winning spoils of war and saving the inhabitants of Keilah.

Rescue the Godly

When God spoke to Moses from the “burning bush” at Sinai he told him, “I have come down to rescue Israel from the hand of the Egyptians” (Exodus 3:8). After some resistance and some adventures along the way, Moses went to Egypt and shared God’s message and miraculous signs with the people there, “And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped” (Exodus 4:31). A few days later, the Israelites who had believed and worshiped were disillusioned and frightened and angry. Egypt’s king had rejected Moses and God’s message and had made the work load of the enslaved Hebrews more difficult and demanding than ever. Moses’s own reaction was a complaint to God, asserting that “you have not rescued your people at all” (Exodus 5:23).

Sabbath Lessons

The word “sabbath” comes into English from a Hebrew word that means “rest.” The verb form, “to rest,” first appears at the end of the cosmic creation account in Genesis 2:2-3, informing the reader that on the seventh day God “rested from all his work.”The next time the scriptures mention a seventh day “rest” is in Exodus 16:23when…

Building Up the Temple

The temple built by Solomon lasted about three hundred and fifty years and then was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, in divine judgment. Seventy years later, the Jews who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon dedicated a second temple, much smaller than the one Solomon built, and the sacrificial system was restored, as predicted…

Giving and Receiving

Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Romans 12:13). Christians are instructed to be hospitable several times in our New Testament, and hospitality is highlighted as a necessary behavior of elders and worthy widows in the church (Romans 12:13, 1 Timothy 3:2, 5:10). Hospitality is a strength demonstrated in the characters of…

Thinking Christians

A Pharisee who was a teacher of the Law asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love…

Chicken Little

Chicken Little  noun A confirmed pessimist, particularly one who warns of impending disaster. One who warns of or predicts calamity especially without justification  [After a character in a story who is hit on the head by an acorn and believes the sky is falling.] (Webster’s Dictionary) Pessimism, expecting bad things, anticipating the worst, is a…

Give No Offense

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be…

Honor to Whom Honor Is Due

“Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”  ~ Romans 13:7 In the Ten Commandments that God gave to Israel, the fifth commandment was “honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy…

Creator, Redeemer, and Judge

In the Bible God has revealed himself to humanity in numerous ways, including three distinct roles that belong uniquely to him, defining God, each one a position of power and authority, each one meriting gratitude, obedience, respect, honor and praise. One of several places we find these three great attributes and works of God described…