Category Archives: Old Testament

The Lord is peace (Judges 6)

I’ve been preparing a message on Luke 2 for my church, so I couldn’t help but notice some parallels between this story and the story of the shepherds. As with Gideon, the shepherds must have been wondering why God had … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Judges, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Failing to drive out evil in our lives (Judges 1)

One of the things God commanded the Israelites to do as to completely drive out the Canaanites from the land, and make no compromise with them. Why? Because of all their evil. And if they did not drive them out, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Joshua, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Following God, seeking his will. (Joshua 5)

As I was reading today’s passage, I thought about prayer. In this passage, the commander of the army of the Lord appears to Joshua. Most likely, that was Jesus himself, hundreds of years before he came to this earth as … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Joshua, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Crossing the river (Joshua 3)

Short and sweet today. As I was reading Joshua 3 today, I couldn’t help but remember the words of Isaiah. Now this is what the Lord says— the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel— … Continue reading

Posted in Joshua, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

In a world where wrong is called right (Psalm 119:1-16)

We live in a world now where wrong is called right. Where people think the greatest happiness is in living as they desire. Where things that were once called sinful are now celebrated. The scary thing is that many in … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

To truly know God (Job 42:5)

I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You. I’ve been thinking about these words of Job recently, as I’ve been reflecting on what it means to truly know God. Paul prayed in Colossians 1:10 that … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Job, Old Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Muzzling oxes? What does this have to do with me? (Deuteronomy 25)

One thing I have tried to do as we go through Deuteronomy is show the relevance of these laws to us. And again, an important principle to keep in mind is what Jesus and the apostles say about it. In … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Applying the Old Testament to ourselves (Deuteronomy 19)

I mentioned a couple of days ago that when we apply the Old Testament to ourselves, we should see how Jesus and the apostles did  so. We see a perfect example here. In the context of judicial law, where God … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Applying the Old Testament to ourselves (Deuteronomy 17)

All of the Bible is relevant to us. All of it was meant to to teach us something (2 Timothy 3:16-17). But not everything in the Bible is equally applicable. We see that in this passage. We see how the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, New Testament, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Remember and rejoice (Deuteronomy 15-16)

If you’ve been paying attention, the theme of “rejoice” has been popping up a lot in these blogs lately. I’ve never thought of Deuteronomy being a book that teaches “rejoicing,” but not only does it teach about rejoicing, it commands … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rejoice! (Deuteronomy 12)

Whenever you read the Bible, it’s always good to look for words and ideas that are repeated. Of course, even if God says something only once, we should pay attention. But when he repeats something, we know it’s something really … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Our calling (Deuteronomy 10)

The calling of the Levites as described in verse 8 really strikes me. Moses said, At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, to stand before the Lord to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Our motive for holiness (Deuteronomy 7)

God’s words here seem very harsh. “Devote the nations in Canaan to complete destruction. Make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them.” Why so harsh? Because they hated God and were in rebellion against him, their Creator … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, New Testament, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Our testimony to the next generation (Deuteronomy 6)

There is so much in this passage that is worth talking about. God warned the people, “Don’t take me and what I’ve done for you for granted. Don’t forget, especially when things are good in your life.” (10-13) And “Don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Taking God for granted (Deuteronomy 1-2)

One of the main themes we see in these two chapters is the rebellion of the Israelites, refusing to enter the land God had promised them. As a result, they wandered around in the wilderness until the generation who had … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Commanded to rejoice (Psalm 81)

At my church yesterday, we were looking at the story of Jehoshaphat and how in the face of an unwinnable battle, he placed the worshipers out in front of the army. What did those worshipers sing? Give thanks to the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

God’s grace and truth (Psalm 57-61)

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17) Grace and truth. These two words are the Greek equivalent to two words often found in the Old Testament. In the CSB, they are … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged | Leave a comment

This I know (Psalm 56)

In a time when the Philistines had seized David in Gath, David’s words ring with faith. This I know: God is for me. (9) Do we have this confidence? When things are falling apart around us, and everyone seems against … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Whose counsel are we taking? (Psalm 1-2)

Recently, I made the observation on Facebook that when the church’s message becomes so like the world’s that you can’t tell the difference between the two, you know the church is in trouble. As I said that, I was particularly … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Confusing God’s grace with his approval (Numbers 20:2-13)

One thing that God has been reminding me recently is that just because my ministry is blessed, this doesn’t necessarily mean I have his approval. This passage is a perfect example of that. Through Moses, the people of Israel were … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Numbers, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The God who has been my shepherd all my life (Genesis 48:15)

At our church, we are going through a series on God as our shepherd. I suppose you saw a glimpse of that in yesterday’s blog. Today, I’m meditating on Genesis 48:15. These were Jacob’s words to Joseph at the end … Continue reading

Posted in Genesis, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The 23rd Psalm from the Lord’s perspective

Last Sunday, I heard a message touching on the 23rd Psalm, and it helped me to see the Psalm from God’s perspective. I AM your shepherd; you shall not want. I make you lie down in green pastures. I lead … Continue reading

Posted in Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A little perspective (Isaiah 43)

Isaiah 43 is definitely one of my favorite passages, especially verses 1-3. But today verses 7 and 21 stand out to me. God talks of Israel returning from Babylon, and in describing them, he says, everyone who bears my name … Continue reading

Posted in Isaiah, Major Prophets, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Faithful (Jeremiah 23:28)

I was reading through several chapters of Jeremiah today, but it was this verse that struck me. It’s in the middle of a passage in which God condemns his people’s leaders, particularly the priests and prophets, for not warning the … Continue reading

Posted in Jeremiah, Major Prophets, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Joy (Psalm 30)

This psalm was written by David, probably after his sin that took place in I Chronicles 21. And it talks about the joy of forgiveness and restoration. But I also see Jesus in this psalm. On the cross, the Father hid … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Captivated by grace and truth (Psalm 26)

When I read this passage, the first thing I saw was some parallels between this psalm and Psalm 1. If you have time, check it out. But the thing that really struck me was verse 3. For your faithful love … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Keeping a pure heart (I Corinthians 5, Psalm 19)

Today I was reading I Corinthians 5 and Psalm 19, and as I meditated on them, the two passages connected in my heart. In I Corinthians 5, Paul was talking about sin in the church and the need to discipline … Continue reading

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Being honest with yourself (Psalm 15)

One theme that runs throughout this psalm is integrity. And as I read verse 2, it really struck me. In one translation, it reads this way, “[He] speaks truth in his heart.” (ESV) Another reads, [He] acknowledges the truth in his heart.” … Continue reading

Posted in Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged | Leave a comment

The One who is on the throne (Psalm 9)

Sometimes, we look at the world, and it can get discouraging. We see all the evil and all the people who are hurting. Sometimes we ourselves are hurting. And we wonder where God is. But to David, the answer was … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Falsely promising life (Ezekiel 13:22)

I don’t typically read the New Living Translation, but I have been listening to an audio Bible using that translation recently. And today, this word struck me: And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they … Continue reading

Posted in Ezekiel, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Lord is my salvation (Psalm 3)

As I read this psalm, the very last verse struck me: “Salvation belongs to the LORD.” That is pretty much what Jesus’ name means. “The Lord is our Salvation.” Those are words that are worth meditating on: “The Lord is … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged | Leave a comment

A never-ending battle (I Chronicles 20:4-8)

If there was one enemy that often came against the Israelites, it was the Philistines. Time and again, the Israelites conquered them. Time and again, the Philistines came back to war against the Israelites. In the same way, as Christians, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Chronicles, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The joy of our salvation (1 Chronicles 16)

In this passage, we see David doing something very important in the psalm he wrote: he recalls the joy of his salvation. (You also might want to read Psalms 96, 105, and 106, where this psalm came from…or vice versa). … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Chronicles, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Always eligible for grace (2 Samuel 19)

As I read the part about Mephibosheth in this passage, his words to David struck me. Apparently, Mephibosheth’s servant had wrongfully accused him of turning on David when David was fleeing for his life from Absalom. But after offering his … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, II Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

God’s plans (2 Samuel 17)

As I read this passage, verse 14 struck me. For the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom. Sometimes we look at the evil in the world and wonder if … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, II Samuel, Old Testament | Leave a comment

Declaring God to the next generation (Psalm 145)

As I was looking at this Psalm today, these words struck me. One generation will declare your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts. (4) And then David seems to model what he said in the next … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How we see sin (2 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 51)

In these passages, we see one of the horrid sins of David, committing adultery with Bathsheba and then murdering her husband. And God had some hard words for David concerning that sin. “Why then have you despised the Lord’s command … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Books of Poetry, II Samuel, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Who is in charge? (Joshua 5)

This is always a striking passage when I read it. And it always makes me think  about my relationship with God. So many times, people ask, “God, are you really for me?”, as if we were the center of the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Joshua, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A channel of grace and mercy (2 Samuel 9)

As I read Mephibosheth’s words in this passage, “What is your servant that you take an interest in a dead dog like me?” (9:8) it reminded me of David’s words to God in chapter 7. Who am I, Lord God, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, II Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Grace (2 Samuel 7)

What is grace? I think we see it in this passage. So often, we, like David, think to impress God by doing something for him. And God reminds us that what we can do for him pales in comparison to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, II Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Trust (Psalm 131)

As those of you who follow this blog know, this has not been an easy week for me. And when we come face to face with the storms and trials of life, it’s easy to ask, “Why.” The truth is, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged | Leave a comment

His faithful love (Psalm 118)

You’ll have to pardon the direction my thoughts naturally go this week. As I mentioned yesterday, my pastor and friend passed away this week, and today is the day of his funeral. Thinking about him colors a lot of what … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Costly (Psalm 116)

I suppose it’s apropos that this passage come up at this time of my life. I actually was thinking on this passage a couple of days ago, when for the second time in several months, I lost a pastor to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What is my heart saying? (Psalm 27)

What is my heart saying? In good times? In bad times? In normal times? What our heart says often shows to whom we belong. It’s clear who David’s heart belonged to. My heart says this about you: “Seek his face.” … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

God’s wisdom. Our wisdom. (2 Samuel 5)

In this passage, we see both David’s good points and bad points. His good point was that he sought God’s wisdom. So when he fought with the Philistines, he always asked, “God, what should I do?” His bad point? Ironically, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, II Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Working our own salvation (I Samuel 25)

I was reading this story in the ESV, and there’s a turn of phrase that quite’s different in it from the other translations. In verses 26, 31, and 33, most translations have David and Abigail talking about how it would … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Anger and bitterness (2 Samuel 2)

As I was reading this passage, I was struck by Joab’s words. “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize that this will end in bitterness?” (26) On Sunday, I gave a message about holding on to anger in our … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, II Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

My kingdom come. Your kingdom come. (I Samuel 20, 23)

It really is amazing to think about Jonathan. Here he was, the heir to the throne, and yet that didn’t matter at all to him. Saul raved, Every day Jesse’s son lives on earth you and your kingship are not … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Why we have hope (Psalm 88)

This is probably the most depressing psalm in the Bible. And yet as I read it today, I saw something different: I saw Jesus. This is not what is typically thought of as a Messianic Psalm. And of course, not … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The ends and the means (I Samuel 29)

As I looked at this passage today, I saw it in a way I had never seen before. Here we see the Philistines about to battle the Israelites, and the Philistine ruler Achish expected David to join them. Why? Because … Continue reading

Posted in I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

A house on sand? (I Samuel 28)

As I read this passage, something interesting struck me. Samuel’s ministry ended it the same way it began: with a message of judgment. The first message was one of judgment on the high priest Eli. The second was a message … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Right with God (2 Samuel 23)

David’s words strike me here. Is it not true my house is with God? For he has established a permanent covenant with me, ordered and secured in every detail. Will he not bring about my whole salvation and my every … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, II Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 18 — The God who came down

It’s strange how my diverse reading plans come together at times. I was reading Psalm 18 yesterday, and by chance came across II Samuel 22 today. They’re two different passages, but the same psalm are in them. And something struck … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, II Samuel, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Grace and truth (Psalm 57)

We all face troubles at times. David certainly did so, running for his life from Saul. What sustained him? Two things: God’s faithful love and truth. God had promised that he would make David king. And because of God’s faithful … Continue reading

Posted in Old Testament, Psalms | Leave a comment

Mercy and Grace (I Samuel 24)

As I look back on my older blogs, particularly on the Old Testament, I think I looked for a lot of practical, moral lessons. I think to some degree that is fine. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that these things … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Continually (Psalm 71)

There are advantages to a more “literal” translation at times. And one of those advantages is that you can see repetition of words more clearly within the same passage. This is one of those cases, and so I’ll be using … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The poor in spirit (I Samuel 22)

A couple of things strike me in this passage. First, the kinds of people who joined David. They were desperate, in debt, and discontented. In short, they were as Jesus put it, “poor in spirit.” They were far from perfect … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

A better high priest (Numbers 20)

As I read this passage, I thought about Aaron. He was the first high priest that Israel ever knew. But he was a flawed man. While Moses was up on the mountain getting the ten commandments, Aaron gave into pressure … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Numbers, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Striving…to rest (Psalm 62)

As I read this Psalm today, I saw it in a different way from how I’ve always seen it. David writes, I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (1) And again, Rest in God alone, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged | Leave a comment

Barely seeing (I Samuel 3)

Yes, I know I wrote on this fairly recently. But sometimes the 3 different Bible-reading plans I’m using overlap, and today happened to bring me back here. And it struck me even more strongly today than it did the last … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, New Testament, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Separate, but interceding (Numbers 16-17)

As I was reading different passages from the Bible today, several things struck me, but perhaps this passage most of all. Some of the Israelites had rebelled against God, and Moses told the community, Get away from the tents of … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Numbers, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Conscious of our sin (Psalm 51)

I’ve probably seen (and sung) this psalm hundreds of times. Today, verse 3 strikes me. David writes, For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. There are two kinds of problems Christians face when … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Where’s the love? (Judges 14-16)

As I read the story of Samson, several things strike me. Unlike the other times in the books of Judges, the people weren’t crying out to God for help from the Philistines. There was no sign of repentance at all … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Judges, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Your God? My God? (I Samuel 15)

I have probably read this passage dozens of times, but today I noticed something new. It’s always been there, of course, but I never noticed it until now. Three times, Saul talks about offering sacrifices to God or worshiping God. … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Leave a comment

Failing to see God and ourselves for who we are (Psalm 36)

There are two kinds of blindness in this world. And one affects the other. There is the blindness as to who God is. David writes, An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked person: Dread of God … Continue reading

Posted in Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Seeking the Lord’s favor? (I Samuel 13)

Here we see the first of Saul’s two major failures that led to his loss of the throne God had given him. He was supposed to wait for Samuel to come and offer a sacrifice before engaging the Philistines, but … Continue reading

Posted in I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Walking with the Spirit (I Samuel 12)

As I read this passage, I thought about the message I gave this past Sunday. In it, I talked about how the Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, to guide us, and intercede for us in our weakness … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Leave a comment

Transformed (I Samuel 10)

This week, I’m preaching from Romans 7-8 in my church. And I hit on a phrase that really got me thinking. But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

When we reject God as king (1 Samuel 8)

When I look at this passage, I can’t help but think about Romans chapter 1. Here, though the people legitimately rejected Samuel’s sons as judges, they came up with the wrong solution: they rejected God as king. God said to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Who can stand in the presence of a holy God? (I Samuel 6)

In verse 20, the Israelites in Beth-shemesh cried out “Who is able to stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God?” Here the Israelites realized what the Philistines realized: No one is worthy to stand before God. The … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Leave a comment

No glory? (I Samuel 4)

In this passage, we see the people of Israel, who have been living their own way and not following God, doing something worse: they were treating God like a genie. They thought they could control him and use him to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Blind and deaf (I Samuel 2-3)

Sometimes, you can see some sharp irony in the Bible. I think this is one of those cases. It says in verse 1, In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread. This … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, Old Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why we need a Savior (Joshua 24)

The interaction between Joshua and the people is very interesting. Joshua basically told  the people, “I don’t care what you folks decide, but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” When the people insist that they … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Joshua, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

When God listened to a man (Joshua 10)

As I was reading this passage about how God made the day longer and helped the Israelites conquer their enemies, this verse struck me. There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord listened to a … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Joshua, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Taking what belongs to God (Joshua 7)

This is a pretty familiar passage to me. I’ve read it dozens of times, it being the story of Achan taking things for himself that should have been devoted to the Lord. But as I read it, God’s words to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of History, Joshua, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

For whom the fruitful tree prospers (Psalm 1)

I was reading this Psalm earlier this week, but didn’t get a chance to write about it, so I thought I would do so today. The psalmist wrote, How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Better to die? (Jonah 4)

What’s striking in this passage is Jonah’s attitude toward people headed for destruction in contrast to Jesus’. When God spared the Ninevites because of their repentance, Jonah was furious. He wanted them to perish. They were the enemies of the … Continue reading

Posted in Jonah, Minor Prophets, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Salvation (Jonah 2)

I’ve really been looking at Jonah through different eyes which has been kind of cool. Here we see Jonah’s cry from the fish, but we also see Jesus in kind of a reverse mirror image. Jonah, of course suffered for … Continue reading

Posted in Jonah, Minor Prophets, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

And the lot fell on…Jesus (Jonah 1:7)

I was reading Jonah again today, and again thought about the parallels between Jesus and Jonah. I didn’t talk about it yesterday, but it did strike me that both in the boat and at the cross lots were cast. Coincidence? … Continue reading

Posted in Jonah, Minor Prophets, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Reluctant savior. Willing Savior. (Jonah 1)

As I was reading Jonah today, I thought about how Jesus compared his death and resurrection to Jonah going into the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. (Matthew 12:39-40). So as I read today, I thought … Continue reading

Posted in Jonah, Minor Prophets, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Who truly leads us (Deuteronomy 31)

At the end of his life, Moses said something to the Israelites that must have left them with a sick feeling in the pit of their stomachs. I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Lord who is our life (Deuteronomy 30:20)

The words here strike me. For the Lord is your life. (Deuteronomy 30:20) Do we really believe that? “The Lord is my life.” Can I honestly say that? “The Lord is my life.” What does that mean exactly? He is … Continue reading

Posted in Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Forgive us our debts… (Deuteronomy 15:1-2)

I’ve now hit Deuteronomy in my Bible reading, and actually covered about 10 chapters or so. I use a Bible with no chapter numbers or verses, and it’s amazing how quickly the chapters fly by when you don’t know they’re … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Numbers 15:30-40 — Following our own hearts

“Just follow your heart!” How often have we heard that said to us? How often do we say it to others? I suppose that there is some truth to it. When our hearts are aligned with Christ’s, they will often … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Numbers, Old Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Despising God (Numbers 13-14)

Lots here that stand out to me. But perhaps the most are these words: The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people despise me? How long will they not trust in me…(14:11) How often do we link failing … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Numbers, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spiritual babies (Numbers 11)

It strikes me just how childish the Israelites were in this passage. The Israelites wept again and said, “Who will feed us meat? We remember the free fish we ate in Egypt, along with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Numbers, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A single misstep (Numbers 6:1-21)

Something struck me here as I read the law concerning the Nazirites. Nazirites were people who for a period in their lives set themselves apart for God. There were several rules for the Nazirites, one of which was that they … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Numbers, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Made holy (Leviticus 20-22)

Yes, it’s been a while since I blogged here. I’ve been working on a message for next Sunday. And I’ve been meditating a lot on Leviticus 18-19 and the laws there. I won’t get into it here, but I think … Continue reading

Posted in Leviticus, Old Testament | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Atonement (Leviticus 16)

Some things strike me here as I read this passage. First, the Holy Place, the tabernacle, and the altar were considered stained by the sin of the people. Some people wonder why God can’t just allow anyone into heaven. The … Continue reading

Posted in Leviticus, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pictures of sin (Leviticus 11-15)

This is one of those passages that make a lot of people go, “Huh?” To be honest, probably most of the Israelites themselves said, “Huh?” when they heard these commands. Looking at these commands, they can seem so anal. Why … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Leviticus, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How we regard God (Leviticus 9-10)

Yes, I know I’m going backward. Actually this year, I’m reading through each book of the Bible at least twice, using two different translations. I’ve been thinking about leadership in the church, and how we are to be held to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Leviticus, Old Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“I am Yahweh” (Leviticus)

I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the LORD (Yahweh) your God… (Leviticus 26:12-13) I wrote about this a couple of days ago, but as I read Leviticus 22-27 again, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Leviticus, Old Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

How we see sin (Leviticus 20)

It strikes me here how God sees sin. It is perverse. (12) It is detestable. (13) It is depraved. (14) It is a disgrace. (17) It is impure. (21) Do we see sin, the same way God does? Or do … Continue reading

Posted in Leviticus, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Contemplating God (Leviticus 18-19)

As I read these passages, the same words are repeated again and again: “I am the LORD (Yahweh) your God.” “Worship me alone. I am Yahweh your God.” (19:4) “Set aside time for me. I am Yahweh your God.” (19:3) “Honor … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Moses, Leviticus, Old Testament | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Song of Solomon 8:5-14 — Sealed

And so after over 900 posts, and 2 and a half years, we come to the end of the Old Testament. In this final passage, the lovers are coming back from their short trip together, and it’s evident to all … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Song of Solomon | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Song of Solomon 7-8 — Making time to be with your spouse

In this passage, we see Solomon and his wife spending time together.  In chapter 7, verses 1-10, we see Solomon expressing his delight in his wife, and how beautiful she is.  He also expresses how much he desires her sexually, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Song of Solomon | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Song of Solomon 6 — Still captivated

As I look at these passages, I can’t help but think of the words of Solomon when he wrote, May you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer — may her breasts satisfy you … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Song of Solomon | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Song of Solomon 5:2-6:3 — Anger, hurt, reconciliation

Marriage relationships don’t always go swimmingly.  In this world broken by sin, anger and hurt between husband and wife are a given.  The question is, how do we respond to it? That’s what we see in this passage. Most commentators … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Song of Solomon | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Song of Solomon 3:6-5:1 — Wedding Day

I’ve been married for 8 years now, and I still remember my wedding day very well.  I remember how beautiful my wife looked that day, and to this day, she is still beautiful in my eyes. In chapter 3, you … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Song of Solomon | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Song of Solomon 2:3-3:5 — Keeping ourselves pure

We live in a culture where purity is hard to come by.  How many husbands and wives come into their marriages sexually pure? Everything in our culture seems to fight against it.  TV dramas constantly depict sex before marriage, and … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Song of Solomon | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Song of Solomon 1-2 — A love song

And so we hit the final book of the Old Testament.  It’s very interesting to me that I ended Proverbs with two posts, “To be a man,” and “To be a woman.” For in this book, we find what it … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Song of Solomon | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Proverbs 31:10-31 — To be a woman

In this passage, we find out what it means to be the ideal woman.  As with men, too often, this world has a warped view of what a woman should be.  Much of it is focused on her appearance.  Being … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 31:1-9 — To be a man

I suppose I could have called this post, “to be a king,” but I don’t think too many kings are reading this blog.  Maybe zero? But there are many men out there, and what King Lemuel’s  mother said to him … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 30:29-33 — To be a leader

What does it mean to be a leader?  I think that we can get some clues from this passage. Agur writes, There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing:  a lion, mighty … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 30:24-28 — Learning from the small and weak

It’s very easy for us to look down on people or things that appear small or weak.  But Agur was not one who would make that mistake.  He looked at four small creatures, and from them found wisdom. From the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 30:11-23 — A corrupt generation

In this passage, Agur talks about the generation he saw in his own time.  (The word translated “those” in this passage, is actually most often translated “generations” throughout the Old Testament.  I suppose it was translated “those” to soften the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 30:1-9 — Humble before God

We go now the words of a man named Agur.  Who he was, no one knows.  But in his words, we find not only wisdom, but humility. Verse 1 is  bit obscure in its meaning.  A possible meaning (and held … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 28-29 — Though we live in the midst of evil

It used to be that you could call the United States a Christian country.  But though there are many people that still claim to believe in God and even claim to be Christians, I doubt you could say that anymore. … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 27 — Wounds from a friend

I remember a time in my life when I was still walking with the Lord, and I was still going to church, but I had started to neglect fellowship in a small group. My small group had broken up amicably … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Proverbs 26-27 — Living with a fool, living like a fool.

In these two chapters, we see how we should deal with fools, and how to avoid acting like one.  In this passage, the Hebrew word that is used for “fool” means a person who is stupid and arrogant.  They insist … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Proverbs 25 — Winning favor in the eyes of men

I should say right off that it shouldn’t be our top priority to win favor in the eyes of men (or women).  Our top priority should be to please God. But I titled this as such because of what the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 24-25 — Revenge

I once heard Bill Cosby give a comedy routine on Revenge.  And he told a story of how when he was a kid, he plotted revenge against a kid that threw a slushball at him, and how his plan went … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged | Leave a comment

Proverbs 24:11-12 — When we fail to warn the lost

Solomon writes some very poignant words here in these verses. Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Proverbs 24 — Building our house

What kind of house are you building?  No, I’m not talking about your literal house.   I’m talking about your life.  What kind of life are you building? That’s what Solomon addresses here in chapter 24. He says, By wisdom a … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Proverbs 23 — What we pursue

In this chapter, we see warnings concerning what we pursue in life. Solomon starts by saying, When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 22 — A good name

How do others see you?  It’s an issue that Proverbs brings up more than once.  We saw this in chapter 10, and we see it again here.  Solomon writes, A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Proverbs 21:1, 30-31 — Remembering who’s in control

When we look at this world, it’s easy to wonder if God is still in control. In verse 1, Solomon writes, The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.  … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 21:5, 20 — Being wise with our money

America is a very credit driven society.  Japan, where I live, is much less so.  One of the major cultural differences I’ve found here is that at grocery stores and supermarkets, the usage of credit cards is quite minimal.  Probably … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Proverbs 20-21 — Facing our Judge

It’s so easy as we go through life to forget that this life is not all there is. There is a life to come after we pass out of this one.  And on the day that we leave this life, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 19-24 — Lazy

When I was a kid, I could be very lazy, particularly about my schoolwork.  I remember nearly missing out on my 4th grade school trip to the Big Island on Hawaii because I wasn’t doing my schoolwork.  I also got … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 18-19 — Who (or what) we put our trust in

Who or what do you put your trust in? Yourself?  Your money?  Or God? That’s what Solomon addresses time and again in Proverbs.  He writes, The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 18-19, 21 — Blessing your husband

I don’t write many things addressing wives very often.  Most admonitions I write concerning married couples, at least up until this point, have been directed primarily at men.  One key reason for this is that God seems to put more … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 18 — Before we speak

The proverbs are loaded with sayings about our speech.  I had a friend who once admitted avoiding Proverbs because he knew God would convict him for the things he let come out of his mouth.  (It didn’t matter, God threw … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 17-19 — True friends

I’ve been fortunate over the course of my life to have found some really good friends.  People who have been there for me during the good times and bad. Several years ago, I was reminded of just how important such … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 17 — Even when it works…

I’ve mentioned before that some of the proverbs express truths that God doesn’t necessarily approve of.  Proverbs 17:8 is an example of this. A bribe is a charm to the one who gives it; wherever he turns, he succeeds. At … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 16-17 — How to build relationships…and tear them down

In this passage, we see some important principles for building and maintaining our relationships. One of the key issues is watching what we say. Solomon writes, A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.  Pleasant words … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 16 — Aligning our will with God’s

Often times, we try to invite God to join in with what we’re planning.  But one thing that is crystal clear from this passage is that this the wrong way to go about living our lives. We shouldn’t be inviting … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 15:13, 15-17 — Is it worth the price?

Jesus once said of being a disciple, “You’ve got to count the cost.”  (Luke 14:28-33) But there are also other things for which we need to count the cost.  And we need to ask ourselves, “Is what I’m pursuing worth … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 15 — Pleasing the Lord

How do we live lives pleasing to our Lord? Solomon writes in verse 3, The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. We can’t hide from God.  Not only does he see all … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 15 — Being wise in our speech

Proverbs has a lot to say about being wise in our speech, and we see a lot of it here. It starts with verse 1. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  (1) Often … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 14:9, 23, 30 — At peace with others and within yourself

A few more passages strike me as I read this chapter.  First, Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.  (9) All of us are human.  All of us make mistakes and hurt other … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 14:20-21, 31 — Despising our Maker

How often do we despise God? “Despise God,” you may ask.  “I don’t despise God.” And yet when we look down on those God has created, we do despise him. That’s what Solomon reiterates several times in the Proverbs.  He … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 14 — Think!

“Think!” I’m sure many of us have heard that sentence punctuate the end of a scolding when we were kids.  We do something stupid, and after railing at us for what we did, our parents tell us, “Think next time!” … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 13:24 — Disciplining our children

We’ve often heard the proverb, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”  This isn’t a direct quote from the Bible, but the idea is certainly repeated fairly often. In Proverbs 13:24, it says, He who spares the rod hates his son, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 13:20 — Walking with the wise

One of my pastor’s favorite passages is this one, He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.  (20) He points out that it doesn’t say that a companion of fools becomes foolish, although … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 13 — Pride

A lot of themes are repeated over and over in Proverbs, and one of them is the danger of pride. How does pride hurt us? It hurts us when we refuse to listen to rebuke.  Rebuke can be painful, but … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 12:18, 25 — Words that wound; words that heal

These are two verses from chapter 12 that really struck me, and I felt deserved a blog to themselves. The first comes from verse 18, which says, Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Proverbs 12 — Blunt pieces of wisdom

You’ve got to love the bluntness of some of these proverbs. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.  (1) It is a theme that you see throughout the Proverbs.  That to be truly wise, you … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 11:24-26, 30 — Being a pipeline of God’s grace

We’ve already touched on Proverbs 11, but I wanted to take a closer look at a few of those verses one more time. This passage is about the joy that comes from giving.  How when people give, it leads to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 11 — Looking ahead

If there is one theme that is repeated throughout this chapter, it’s the importance of looking ahead to the consequences of our actions. So many people in this world don’t.  I was watching part of a sports documentary called “Broke.”  … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 10 — What kind of name do you have?

Shakespeare once asked, “What’s in a name?”  Quite a lot actually. Solomon wrote, The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.  (7) When people hear the name Hitler, for example, there … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 9 — Wisdom: A willingness to change

Some people mistake God’s love and acceptance of us with a license to sin.  They think, “God accepts me anyway, so why change?  Why not live the way I want?” But in this passage, we see that a wise person … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 8 — Interpreting God’s word correctly

Sometimes people get into trouble as they interpret the Bible simply because they really don’t know how to interpret it correctly.  One of the big mistakes people make is when they bring two passages together that have no connection to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 7 — Easy pickings

Recently, my daughter had a sports festival at her nursery school.  One of the “sports” was running down to a place where she would “fish” for a gift.  She lowered her little fishing pole, and a person there attached the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Leave a comment

Proverbs 6:20-35 — Captivated by sin

It’s amazing how often we see adulterous relationships portrayed on TV nowadays.  Nobody even blinks at it.  And yet, one wonders why people never learn from it.  Even on TV, most times there are negative consequences that come from these … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 6:12-19 — Acting as God’s children, or as the devil’s?

In this passage, Solomon talks about the “scoundrel,” or as the NASB puts it the “worthless person.”  In other words, a man of no use to man or God because they live only for themselves and place themselves under no … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 6:1-11 — Being secure financially

I’m definitely not one to talk about how to improve your finances.  My family’s doing okay, but we’re definitely not rolling in green or anything, so I feel a little weird talking about financial matters.  But Solomon does, so here … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 5 — Delighting in your wife (and husband)

This is one of several long passages warning against adultery in the book of Proverbs. In this world, people have lost sight of what marriage is about, and largely because of that, what sex is all about. Marriage is about … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 4:10-27 — Watching our step

“Watch your step.” Whenever we’re in a precarious situation, people always warn us to be careful.  And in this world there are numerous pitfalls that can bring us down. So David warned his son Solomon about the pitfalls in life, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 4:1-9 — Esteeming wisdom

In this passage, Solomon recalls the words his father David told him when he was a boy, words, that apparently left in a deep impression on him.  David told him, Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Proverbs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment