Posts

Featured Post

The Lost Art of Honoring Your Parents: Deuteronomy 5:16

Image
 What it does mean to “honor your parents?” In western society, this phrase may feel outdated, antiquated, and irrelevant. As believers in God’s Word, we know the Lord repeatedly admonishes us to honor our father and mother. Yet, our society gives us a different message, making it difficult to decipher how this applies in today’s world. “Honor your father and mother, so that your days may be long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.” — Exodus 20:12 Deuteronomy 5:16 elaborates upon this in more detail, “Honor your father and your mother, as Yahweh your God has commanded you , so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.”  A Weighty Ask The Hebrew word for honor means, “to give weight to”, or “to consider heavy.” When you add weight to an object, like weights to a barbell, it makes it more difficult to carry but also more important to carry. If you carry a heavy weight incorrectly, it can lead to injur

Why Hasn't Jesus Come Back Yet?

Image
 One of Jesus’ pivotal teachings is that he would bring an end to the world as we know it. Jesus made this promise over 2,000 years ago. The early church was convinced that Jesus’ return would be imminent because he said that he would be “coming soon” (Rev 22:12, 20).  Now here we are all this time later and Jesus still hasn’t returned. What’s the hold up? Why is there a delay? What is so exciting is that Scripture gives us a direct, explicit answer to this very question; we don’t have to make an inference or an implication. Peter shares God’s direct answer to this question in the third chapter of his second letter. The “Hold Up”  — More to be Saved The explicit answer is found in verse 9 (with some important context to strengthen his rhetoric), “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” It seems as if the Lord is taking a long time to return. Viewing this

God's True Character: Exodus 34:6–7

Image
 Who is God, or more specifically, Yahweh—God as defined and worshiped in the canon of the Bible? Our instincts may lead us to the New Testament—the revelation of Jesus Christ. But how did the Hebrews (and later the Jews) understand who God was? We hear of the supposed dichotomy between the “God of the Old Testament”—wrathful, punishing, and selective and the “God of the New Testament”—loving, merciful, and inclusive . Yet one of the most important, if not the most important, thesis statements about God’s character in the entire Bible is found in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible/Tanakh). Its the most quoted verse within the Old Testament, Exodus 34:6–7: “Yahweh, Yahweh, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third an

Consolation for all Israel

A month has past since the world celebrated the birth of Christ. But the birth of any child is but a moment. What was the purpose of the coming of Jesus into this sin-cursed world? Two moments after the birth of Jesus set the course for his life's work. The first was his circumcision eight days after his birth. At that time, his name was confirmed by a priest to be "Jesus" (Gr. Yesou, Heb. Yeshuah), which means "The LORD saves". The name was familiar to all Jews as the hero who lead the people in conquering Canaan, the land promised to Abraham. It was a name given to countless boys in hopes that they would grow up to be the one to deliver them from tyrannical empire builders like the Caesars of Rome. On the eighth day a new week begins.  How appropriate that the eighth day of Christmas is our secular "New Year's Day".  The second moment, required by the Law, was the sacrifice at the temple on behalf of the child when its mother became ceremonially

Jesus The Disrupter: Luke 2:34–35

Image
 Some forty days had passed and it was time for Mary to purify herself, according to Levitical law. By a miracle, Mary had bore the baby Jesus but had not slept with any man at this point.  Here we meet the famous Simeon, who had been promised to see the Savior in the flesh during his lifetime. He praised God and announced to everyone in the temple courts how the baby would bring Salvation to all people. CC-BY-SA Sweet Publishing Yet, those were not his last words concerning Jesus. Imagine Simeon holding baby Jesus in his arms and declaring the future Salvation, but then pivoting his stance towards Mary to speak a blessing to a her: “. .  . this child is appointed for the fall and [rise] of many in Israel, and for a sign that is [spoken against] (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34–35 ESV Jesus was the Savior, and this required a great disruption to people’s lives. He later said about himself:  “Do not think

The Sign of the Rainbow

Image
 If you are like me, it is easy to take signs of God’ s love found in nature for granted. The other day, when I was out walking, a ginormous natural sign hit my eyesight—a rainbow. I’ve seen rainbows many times, but on that day the Spirit stirred my heart, “Remember the rainbow!” I think there is more to the rainbow than what we make of it, biblically speaking. In today’s world the rainbow is used to represent everything from Autism awareness, to worldly views of human sexuality and gender, to a happy (and inaccurate) representation of the Great Flood that adorns the signage of Christian preschools. What does the Bible say about the rainbow? When the rainbow enters our gaze, what thoughts should come to mind? The promise of the rainbow has meaning for God, Humanity and Animal kind:  God  After Noah and representatives of all kinds of animals disembarked the ark after the Great Flood , God made a covenant with them all, setting a rainbow in the sky: “This is the sign of the covenant

Soul-Searching: Psalm 139

Image
What does it mean to search for something? A search is not a low-energy effort to find something. A search is a deep, intense probing that will not stop until something is found.  How do we search? We pour through our environment intently looking to find that which we are seeking. That is what we must ask God to do in our own hearts, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”- Psa 139:23-24 In Psalm 139, David is both asking God to and recognizes that he searches the heart. This idea of God searching our heart sandwiches (inclusio) the body of the Psalm, which describes God’s intimate knowledge of us in great detail, “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down… and are acquainted with all my ways.”-  Psa 139:2 “Where shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to

A Bad Trade-In (Jeremiah 2)

Image
 What is the best, most refreshing water you have ever had? I know some of the best water I have ever had is an ice cold, bottled water or water from a cold fountain Say you had a choice between cold, refreshing and satisfying bottled water or a glass of lukewarm tap water- which would you choose? (Maybe a bad analogy) If you are like the Israelites or any other human being who has lived on the planet- we will often opt for the lukewarm tap water over the bottled water. It can be the same with God. That’s what God calls our attention to in Jeremiah 2. The Israelites had access to cold bottled water but settled for the lukewarm tap water. “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest. All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them”- Jeremiah 2:2-3 In the past, Israel experienced the favor and protection of God as they had total devotion, compl

You Aren't Too Good For Any Service: John 13:1-20

Image
Imagine the most menial and humiliating work you can do for others. In the Western world we often use maids as the stereotypical, lowly servant. Other occupations that come to mind are waiters, sewage workers and trash collectors. These are the tasks no one wants to do, because everyone would like to think they are above them. These tasks are not glamorous in any way, but they may be hard, dirty or demanding work positions.  In Jesus’ day , washing feet was a task reserved for the servant. People did not have neatly paved roads, sweeper trucks and covered shoes that kept their feet relatively clean. When someone entered a house, the servant would wash their feet. This was one of the lowliest and most humiliating jobs anyone could have had. Yet, Jesus did this- and with effort and willingness.  John 13:1-20 contains the account of Jesus washing the Apostles ’ feet. This is a very significant moment in the ministry of Jesus that not only gives us insights into Jesus' nature, but h

As in the Days of Noah (Part 2)

Image
  “When Jared had lived 162 years, he fathered Enoch.” Gen. 5:18 The two families of mankind had probably started to interact before the birth of Jared’s son Enoch . Based on Jared’s name meaning “Descent” it can be imagined that his godly father Mahalaleel (“Place of Praise to God'') had spoken prophetically to the culture. If Jared had followed the trend of the day, it is likely that he may have moved to the city of Enoch. Nothing in the text requires his even marrying within his tribe, or that the mother of Enoch was his first wife. Whatever the case, it was 162 years before the child was born. “ Adah (Lamech’s first wife) bore Jabal [and] Jubal . . .” Gen. 4:20-21 In those same days, assuming the genealogies are concurrent, the greatest leader of the Cainites (likely in the city of Enoch as well) was born to Methusael (“Man from El”) who might have been the high priest of the pagan religion, The boy’s name was Lamech , which means “Powerful”. His children, born of two moth

As in the Days of Noah (Part 1): The Names in the Antediluvian Record

  "Adam knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived.." Gen. 4:1a In ancient times names were not lightly given. This was especially true in Biblical times. Most, if not all, of the leading persons with origin stories have a definition associated with the name. The first genealogical lists, in the original Hebrew ,  present a vivid picture of the world in the early days after creation . The names of Seth and Cain ’s descendants depict a timeline of the progression of evil and the worship of God up until the Flood . In this two-part blog series, we are going to explore how the names of people in the Bible tell us about them and the times they were living in.  The naming of the father of mankind is tied to the term " mankind " - that is, as the first of the species, he was simply "the man" (Hebrew: H'Adam) and the name stuck. The narrator states that "H'adam" was made from "H'adamah" (the ground). When he sinned, his fate w