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

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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

Bible Note #32: Righteousness, Perseverance, and God’s Grace — Proverbs 24:16

“[F]or the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”  Proverbs 24:16 [ESV] I’ve been coming back to this verse a lot in the past couple of weeks.  It’s helped me a lot in thinking about grace, sanctification, and the life of following Jesus.  To fallen people living in … Continue reading Bible Note #32: Righteousness, Perseverance, and God’s Grace — Proverbs 24:16

Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

  After the experience of having Jesus walk up to them in the middle of the Sea of Galilee as they were struggling to row their boat across to the other side, Mark says this about the disciples, “They were completely astonished, because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened” … Continue reading Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Jesus has come to redeem us from our oppression under and participation in the evil of a fallen world and to give us the calling of following in his footsteps. I have a friend whom I see from time to time. He’s involved in the life of a church, though I’ve never really talked to … Continue reading Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Bible Note #23: Blessing without Regard to Deserving & the Gracious Heart of God

Proverbs 21:12-13 [NET] The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked; he overthrows the wicked to their ruin. The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and will not be answered. It runs counter, I think, to our stereotypical understanding of the book of Proverbs … Continue reading Bible Note #23: Blessing without Regard to Deserving & the Gracious Heart of God

Bible Note #22: Facing the Evil

Facing the Evil The year 1944.  The place, Nazi-occupied Poland.  The narrator, Dr. Viktor Frankl, an Jewish psychiatrist from Austria. Fifteen hundred people had been traveling by train for several days and nights:  there were eighty people in each coach.  All had to lie on top of their luggage, the few remnants of their personal … Continue reading Bible Note #22: Facing the Evil

Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor

“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”  Proverbs 14:31 [NIV] We have here an antithetical parallelism.  The two halves of the couplet contrast with each other, and in that way the writer shows us one key truth by showing us both sides of the … Continue reading Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor

Bible Note #20 — Deuteronomy 22:6-7 and Cruelty to the Vulnerable and Weak

Deuteronomy 22:6-7 [ESV] “If you come across a bird's nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.  You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it … Continue reading Bible Note #20 — Deuteronomy 22:6-7 and Cruelty to the Vulnerable and Weak