Bible Note #41: Building Up and Healing with Words

“Speaking recklessly is like the thrusts of a sword, but the words of the wise bring healing.”  Proverbs 12:18 [NET] This verse is built on a recognition of the power of words.  And the couplet begins with a warning about the destructive power of words.  It is very tempting to launch out now on a … Continue reading Bible Note #41: Building Up and Healing with Words

Bible Note #40: Conversation with the Angel–Luke 1:5-25

He was an old man, and his back ached with the day’s work.  Some of the younger priests did the heavy lifting required by the work.  But still, the old priest had spent most of the day on his feet.  And so, there was a sharp, grinding ache in the small of his back, stabbing … Continue reading Bible Note #40: Conversation with the Angel–Luke 1:5-25

Bible Note #39: Blind to our Sin–Psalm 36:1-3

1 Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.     They have no fear of God at all. 2 In their blind conceit,     they cannot see how wicked they really are. 3 Everything they say is crooked and deceitful.     They refuse to act wisely or do good.                  … Continue reading Bible Note #39: Blind to our Sin–Psalm 36:1-3

Bible Note #38: God’s Redemptive Havoc

“All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord. I make the high tree low; I raise up the low tree. I make the green tree wither, and I make the dry tree sprout. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it!’”   Ezekiel 17:24 [NET] What an odd verse … Continue reading Bible Note #38: God’s Redemptive Havoc

Bible Note #37 — Deuteronomy 23:24-25: Provision for Neighbors in Need

24 “If you go into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in your bag. 25 If you go into your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor's standing grain.”  Deuteronomy … Continue reading Bible Note #37 — Deuteronomy 23:24-25: Provision for Neighbors in Need

Bible Note #36 — Why Do the Just Suffer? — Ecclesiastes 8:14

"Here is another enigma that occurs on earth: Sometimes there are righteous people who get what the wicked deserve, and sometimes there are wicked people who get what the righteous deserve. I said, “This also is an enigma.”                 Ecclesiastes 8:14 [NET] Who can’t relate to this?  Who hasn’t … Continue reading Bible Note #36 — Why Do the Just Suffer? — Ecclesiastes 8:14

Bible Note #36 — Obeying God — Numbers 9:15-23

Numbers 9:15-23 Here we have one of the classic summary passages describing how God led the Israelites through the wilderness.  There is a certain drama in the process, because the means of God’s leading was grand and very public.  There was no indication that discerning God’s leading in this process was at all difficult.  The … Continue reading Bible Note #36 — Obeying God — Numbers 9:15-23

Bible Note #35: Compassion for the Weak — Job 29:14-17

Job is a tricky book to use.  The book is a debate among Job and some friends over how to understand suffering and what God is doing in the midst of that suffering.  We should not assume that everything that Job or the others say is correct.  The only one who speaks infallibly in the … Continue reading Bible Note #35: Compassion for the Weak — Job 29:14-17

Bible Note #34: Evil Will Slay the Wicked — Psalm 34:21

There is an essential irony in this verse.  It is essential in that it touches the very essence and fabric of reality.  It is a state of affairs that is woven into the very fibers of existence.  "Evil will slay the wicked."  (Psalm 34:21 NIV) Evil is self-consuming.  The evilness of that which is evil … Continue reading Bible Note #34: Evil Will Slay the Wicked — Psalm 34:21

Bible Note #33: The Hairy Arms of Esau and the Embrace of God’s Grace — Genesis 33

This event – the reconciliation of Esau and Jacob – has long captured my imagination.  The rupturing of their relationship was overflowing with emotion.  So, it should be no surprise that the reconciliation here is also full of emotion.  There is also a large measure of raw, burly physicality in the reconciliation of these two … Continue reading Bible Note #33: The Hairy Arms of Esau and the Embrace of God’s Grace — Genesis 33