In the Garden

So, Jesus prayed in a garden, was arrested and fettered in a garden, died and was buried in a garden. That means he also rose from the dead in a garden, since that’s where the tomb was located (John 20:1ff).

But the Midwives Feared God

These six women who did what was right in Exodus 1-4 literally changed the world by what they chose to do. Four women who were slaves, one a princess, and one who was a shepherd’s wife saved the day and are the heroes of the story, making it possible for Moses and Aaron to have their day and learn to become heroes as well.

Joseph Wept

Not trusting his brothers on that occasion, after weeping privately, Joseph manipulated circumstances in order to force them to bring their youngest brother to him in Egypt, probably intending to protect Benjamin from the caprices of the men who had already betrayed one younger brother and their own father. Eventually, the brothers were compelled to do as Joseph directed and return to Egypt a second time to purchase food, bringing their youngest brother along. For the second time, Joseph dealt with them as though he were a stranger, speaking through an interpreter, but when he saw his younger brother once again, now a grown man, Joseph went aside and “he entered his chamber and wept there” (Genesis 43:29-30). Joseph wept.

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…