Posts

Featured Post

The Path to God

Image
The Path to God Isaiah 40:1-5 Isaiah had been there for years as a voice to the royal house of Judah. The message switches in chapter 40 to one of hope in times of trouble. As with Hosea before him, his message to the people is salvation by grace. The debt they had was too great, so God was going to pay the price. The command to the prophet was to "comfort" the people of God. This didn't mean to make them feel comfortable. But he was to stand alongside then and support them. Instead of despair, there was hope. For sure, hard times were coming--from inside the kingdom and from the outside--but God was in control.  The road ahead was going to be long and obstacles remained, but the path to God was on schedule. It is important to note that the people of God cannot remove the barriers that keep them from the LORD. That path to God is cleared from His side. About 600 years later a latter day prophet named John would point the way to Jesus, the Way. The long expected Messiah--o…

The Body, God's Temple

Image
“...your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God...You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body”- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV This verse is commonly used to support the idea of healthy living. While making an effort to live a healthy lifestyle is important and glorifying to God, this passage is not concerned with health. To say this verse teaches healthy living would be an incorrect application. This is a good example of a verse being “taken out of context”. The full context here reads:
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor 6:18-20 So then, what is this verse teaching? What does it mean when it says “your body is a temple …

Throw Your Gold in the Trash

Image
What do you consider valuable in your life? When we hear the word “valuable” or “priceless” we often think of money or precious gems. What we think of as valuable and what truly is valuable are often very different things. How much do you value your relationship with God? Can you say that everything else feels like trash compared to God?

In the Book of Job, Eliphaz gives us some great life wisdom. The Book of Job is considered “wisdom literature”, which means (like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), it contains many pithy sayings on life. We often miss the great wise sayings found throughout Job, because we focus so much on the grand idea of “why do we suffer” (which The Book of Job actually does not answer directly).

Eliphaz accuses Job of withholding his material wealth from the poor (Job 22:7-11), which explains, in his view, why Job is being punished. So Eliphaz offers the following admonition:
“....If you remove injustice far from your tents; if you lay gold in the dust, and gold of O…

Faith and Mountains: God's Work

Image
Recently I had the chance to visit Mt. Rainier in the State of Washington, which is one of the largest mountains in the United States. Mt. Rainier was literally the biggest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. It could be seen from long distances away and towered far above everything in its vicinity. The mountain was as tall, wide and thick as the eye could see. The mountain was not only untouchable, but impenetrable and immovable. The qualities of mountains make them ideal symbols for the obstacles of life- oftentimes immovable and towering far above anything else in life. The Bible uses mountains as a symbol for the seemingly mountainous assignments God gives us and of life’s greatest struggles.

 This post will focus on the work that God wants us to do and how we can accomplish this with his help. See this post for the mountains of struggles in our life.

 The people of Judah had finally returned from a long exile in faraway lands. Under the care of the Israelite governor, Zer…

Word for Word: Episode 53

יֹ֥ום הַשִּׁשִּֽׁי The sixth day The sixth day was for the "world" of mankind. The animals were there as companions and the plants were for food. The deep waters of the sea were a mystery left for modern explorers to uncover. The word שִּׁשִּֽׁי (shishshiy sixth) comes from the cardinal number שֵׁשׁ (shesh six), which in turn comes from the verb שׂוּשׂ (süs) which means "to rejoice". It seems that since the hand has five fingers, one of the most primitive numbers indicated abundance. This aligns with the message of the last creation day. The words new to the reader follow: [behemah] בְּהֵמָה , livestock, cattle. [adam] אָדָ֛ם , man, mankind, Adam [tselem] צֶלֶם , image, likeness [dem·üth] דְּמוּת , likeness, similitude; from דָּמָה , to be like, similar [zä·kär] זָכָר , male; from the verb זָכַר (zä·kar), to remember [nĕqebah] נְקֵבָה , female; from נָקַב (naqab), to designate, appoint [kabash] כָּבַשׁ ,to subject, subdue ['oklah] אָכְלָה , food; from אָכַל (&…

In One Sitting: Hosea

Recently I decided to do something special- read certain books of the Bible "In One Sitting" and write blogposts about them, sharing what someone can glean when they take a book of the Bible as a whole, rather than segmented like we normally do. Modern chapters, verses and headings are mean't to act as reference aids, but we use them as artificial dividers in the text, where they often don't belong. This wasn't a concept that was brand new to me, but in order to read some books with the focus and dedication they need, I needed to set aside a special and concentrated time to read and meditate.
This past weekend I did the Book of Hosea- which took me a little less than an hour to read in one sitting. Here are my thoughts on the book, after reading it all at once- no interruption. Comment below your own thoughts- I would encourage you to do for the Book of Hosea, or even another book- we may feature your thoughts by allowing you to guest blog. See what God will do. …

Word for Word: Episode 52

וְהִנֵּה־טֹ֖וב מְאֹ֑ד
And behold--Very good
Having surveyed everything on earth, the Creator was satisfied with the work He had done. The inspired penman emphatically (הִנֵּה hinneh"behold") states that things went extremely well (מְאֹ֑ד m@`od "exceedingly" + טֹ֖וב towb "good"). The word הִנֵּה (behold) first appeared in verse 29. It is from the root  הֵן (hen) which appears in combination with prepositions or the article as the third person plural "they, those". Different vowel sounds changes hennah to hinneh, that is, from "those" to "those!". Much has been written about "very good", but the word translated "very" (מְאֹ֑ד) has its roots in the word אוּד ('ood), a rake or poker for maximizing the heat of embers. With this in mind, m'a°d (my attempt at transliteration) runs the gambit of meanings, from "very" (137×) to "mightily" (2×). The idea carries with it strength or force. The …