Posts

Featured Post

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

The Humility Expectation

Image
God became a Man and died in one of the most humiliating ways- crucifixion.  On the backdrop of telling believers to behave as a “ Gospel citizen ” (like a foreigner who wants to represent his home-country well) Paul writes the Christians in Philippi , “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, -- though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under t

Boast in the Lord

Image
© Faithlife Corporation What are you proud of in your life? What do you identify with? Do you think your behavior will excuse or vindicate you?  The people of Judah thought that their exterior religiosity insured them against punishment for their inward vileness. Can’t we be guilty of the same?  Through the prophet Jeremiah , God laid forth his future punishment of Judah’s sins very clearly as a warning for the people to turn away from their sins. Chiefly, they had abandoned God and had turned to worshipping the false gods of Ba’al , as if they had chosen water from a dirty and leaky cistern over  pure, fresh and clean water from a spring (Jeremiah 2). In addition, the Jews had been treating each other harshly with no concern for the needy, instead trusting in political alliances and their own inflated sense of righteousness to advance “goodness” in their country.