A plea for unity.

September 18, 2016. Ramifications of the reformation. It is an understatement to say that there is a lot of division in the church today. Though it seems that people have been divisive from the beginning (see I Corinthians 1-3), today the amount of separation in the entirety of Christendom is both disheartening and damaging to…

Psalm 129-131: Looking to the Lord.

December 2, 2015. Daily Reading: Psalm 129-131. Background: Psalm 126-128. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 129 Enduring affliction: Another psalm in the series of the songs of ascents (see psalm 120), this psalm recounts affliction that the people of Israel had endured from the people who oppressed them even from the beginning. As Israel was becoming a nation…

Amos 5-9: Woe to those who are at ease in Zion.

October 16, 2015. Daily Reading: Amos 5-9. Background: Amos 1-4. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 5 1. Seek the Lord and live: Though the Lord is in the middle of rebuke and Amos’ message has been one of destruction, an ever present characteristic of God is found here as He offers reconciliation to His people. Though…

Ezekiel 7-12: Oracles of destruction.

June 26, 2015. Daily Reading: Ezekiel 7-12. Background: Ezekiel 1-6. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 7 Prophecy of the Lord’s wrath: Chapter seven opens with a message from the Lord to the land of Israel: the wrath of the Lord has come upon you. The people of God had been judged for their abominations and the…

Lamentations 1-5: Hope in the midst of lament.

June 12, 2015. Daily Reading: Lamentations 1-5. Background: The book of Lamentations is a collection of five poems (corresponding to the five chapters) that are traditionally ascribed to Jeremiah, though there is no textual evidence that states this claim outright. The first four poems are acrostics, with each verse beginning with a successive letter of…

I Corinthians 12-13: A better way.

March 29, 2015. Daily Reading: I Corinthians 12-13. Background: I Corinthians 11. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 12 1. Spiritual gifts: The Corinthian church was a church that was literally full of the Holy Spirit. Many of the members in Corinth had been given the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and were workers of supernatural miracles such…

Job 18-19: Bildad and Job.

March 5, 2015. Daily Reading: Job 18-19. Background: Job 15-17. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 18 1. Self-centered comfort: As Bildad once again addresses Job to answer his comments, it would seem that he is more interested in his own self interest than that of comforting Job. Tensions were likely high, especially after all the back and…

Job 15-17: Miserable comforters.

February 26, 2015. Daily Reading: Job 15-17. Background: Job 12-14. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 15 Eliphaz’s answer and accusation. 1. “It’s because you don’t [insert criticism here] enough”: Often when we are trying to comfort someone that it pains us to see in the state that they are in, we want to help them help themselves….

Job 12-14: Many words that have caused frustration.

February 19, 2015. Daily Reading: Job 12-14. Background: Job 11. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 12 1. Laughing at the misfortune of others: Sometimes, though it will seem very wrong when said aloud, we get some internal satisfaction when we see the misfortune of others, especially when it comes on people that we don’t particularly like…

Isaiah 29-33: Downfall, complacency and hope.

February 13, 2015. Daily Reading: Isaiah 29-33. Background: Isaiah 23-28. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 29 1. A spirit of deep sleep from the Lord: As with times before, this is yet another prophecy against Jerusalem for their disobedience and apostasy, foretelling of the calamity that was in store for them if they would not repent and…

Lessons from a weeping prophet.

October 3, 2014. “What can I say for you, to what compare you,     O daughter of Jerusalem? What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,     O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is vast as the sea;     who can heal you? Your prophets have seen for you     false and deceptive visions; they…

3 lessons from one man’s mistakes.

September 18, 2014. Some time ago, there lived a man who was something of a prodigy. His mother and father feared God and brought him up to know the Lord. You might say that he had a closer connection with God than most of us, at least in appearance, for he had taken a vow…