Posts

Showing posts from June 11, 2017

Unity

Boy don't we need some of that in our nation today. We are divided, separated into factions and perpetuating the lies of jealous people and warring spirits. Republican elected officials preparing to face Democrats in a baseball game to raise money for a worthy cause face a crazed person who seeks to kill them all. And for one moment, after the reality of evil and death are right in front of their faces, both parties come together. Then, they return to their corners to divide and destroy again seemingly dismissing the unity they had felt. David expressed that unity is "as precious as the anointing oil…poured over Aaron's head that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe." (Psalm 133:2) Here is the picture of the head which God made and the robe which man made being covered by the same oil. The people would watch the anointing of the High Priest as something that unified them in their worship of one God. It was special, precious, because not always seen, due …

Detour

Who were your influencers during your teen years? That is, who did you associate with and what actions came out of that association? For me, there were four other guys that I connected with and that drew me the wrong way. If not for my family's move to Colorado from Arizona, I don't what my future would have been. There is a short story of the rise and fall of a prophet in the middle of the larger story in 1 Kings of the rise and fall of Jeroboam, the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. This prophet is never named but his prophecy against the altar that King Jeroboam had built at Bethel was fulfilled 300 years later. There's a story there but let's keep our eye on the prophet. This "man of God" was told to prophesy and he did and also was told to go back to Judah by a different path. "So he left Bethel and went home another way." (1 Kings 13:10) Looks like, at this point, he had done everything right. But another prophet, living in Bethel, w…

Tests

Most of us do not like tests because they identify our insufficiency in the material under scrutiny. They give us a grade that is supposed to represent our effort. But the looming test does act as a catalyst to better learn the material so that we can succeed. Here is a tough statement from Solomon, "Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart." (Proverbs 17:3) Fire is a powerful tool that melts down silver and gold and the higher and longer the heat; the more impurities are burned off or lifted to the surface for removal. As fire tests these metals, so God tests the metal of our soul. Some He tests with riches, power, physical strength and some He tests with poverty, slavery, and weakness. Solomon was tested with riches and power, Samson was tested with physical strength, the widow of Zarephath was tested with poverty, Joseph was tested with slavery, and Gideon was tested with weakness, to name just a few. God's "tests" are not designed…

Life-Giving Words

When we consider this phrase we imagine words of positive encouragement that bring hope to our hearts. They are life-giving so certainly they will be wise words. These words are used by Stephen to describe what God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. "And there Moses received life-giving words to pass on to us [Israel]." (Acts 7:38)  As Stephen weaved the history of God's people he spoke of the Ten Commandments, written by the finger of God on Mount Sinai, as the guide to long life. These 10 Commandments are the basis of 613 commandments found in the Old Testament. One author has noted, "The 613 commandments include 'positive commandments', to perform an act, and 'negative commandments', to abstain from certain acts. The negative commandments number 365, which coincides with the number of days in the solar year, and the positive commandments number 248, a number ascribed to the number of bones and main organs in the human body." You might have thought …