Despising the Lamb

The following article appeared in our local paper last weekend. It is adapted from my booklet, Despising the Lamb: Contempt for Christ in First Samuel. *** Hophni and Phineas were priests in Old Testament times (1 Sam. 1:3). The Bible says Hophni and Phineas were wicked men (1 Sam. 2:12). Why? When someone brought a…

Life out of Death

Joseph embodies the key reality of spirituality: life out of death.  God is a God of life out of death.  This is His way.  Everything He does or creates expresses it.  If we would truly know the Lord, our experience will be marked by life out of death. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit…

Too Strong for Me

He reached down from heaven and took hold of me; He pulled me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me” (Psalm 18:16-17). I have been meditating on Psalm 18, especially the verses above.  There are a couple levels…

Turning Tricks (Part 2)

When Tamar posed as a prostitute in order to get Judah to sleep with her, he promised to pay her a goat.  Tamar wanted some assurance.  She didn’t care about the payment; if she got pregnant she would need to show that her pregnancy fell under the duty Judah’s family had to carry on the…

Turning Tricks (Part 1)

Genesis 38 shows that God doesn’t function by the knowledge of good and evil.  The Lord put Judah’s son, Er, to death because he was evil.  This left his wife, Tamar, alone without a child or heir.  Er’s brother, Onan, should’ve fathered a child with Tamar but didn’t.  The Lord also put Onan to death….

Communion and the Concubine

What follows is adapted from my booklet, “Communion and the Concubine.”  If you’ve found the story in Judges 19 and 20 disturbing (and most have), I hope you will check out the booklet and find the story redeemed by how Christ is revealed in it. *** Judges 19 contains one of the most horrific stories…

The Pain of Childbirth

After leaving Bethel, Rachel goes into labor.  It is hard labor.  She dies while birthing a son.  Scripture says, “With her last breath—for she was dying—she named him Ben-oni, but his father called him Benjamin” (Gen. 35:18).  Ben-oni means, “Son of my sorrow,” while Benjamin means, “Son of my right hand.” This turn of names…

Learning Lessons or Letting It Be Christ

The following is by a friend who loves Jesus and wished to be anonymous. *** King Nebuchadnezzar had an amazing experience (Dan. 4). The Lord showed him his future. The Most High wanted to deal with the king’s pride, to show he was a tool to bring about what would please God’s heart. The vision came to pass…

Settling at Bethel

After the incident with Shechem, the Lord tells Jacob to go to Bethel and settle there.  Jacob went to Bethel with all his family, servants, and livestock.  Then, “Jacob built an altar there and called the place God of Bethel because it was there that God had revealed Himself to him when he was fleeing…

Trouble and Trumpets

Recently, I found myself rather sick of the world.  Sick of hearing sirens.  Sick of politics.  Sick of fires and famine.  Sick of systems that don’t really solve human problems.  Sick of it all.  And sick of whining about it 😉 The Lord brought John 16:33 to my heart like a balm.  And it got…