These few proverbs consist of warnings not to act simply on our own or to take our direction from those who lack wisdom. Engaging in fraud to get your food (or your livelihood) offers only momentary pleasure. You can be pleased to have outwitted someone in deceiving them – but in the long term such action turns sour (See Job 20:12-19). This is a practice which commonly exploits the poor and for that there is no lasting reward.Read More
After twenty years of building, Solomon adds the “coup de grace,” the exclamation point, to his masterpiece. With great ceremony and sacrificial ritual, he brings the Ark of the Covenant to the temple, placing it in the “Holy of Holies.” At this moment something astonishing happens.
A cloud of luminous haze suddenly fills the house as the priests leave the “Holy of Holies.Read More glory, God’s presence, holiness
After twenty years of continuous, arduous construction, Solomon dedicates the temple he has built for “The Name.” With pomp, circumstance, and thousands of blood sacrifices, he lifts his hands toward heaven in the midst of his people and prays a powerful prayer. Most powerful of all is what he says in the last few words of verse 27.
A literal reading in the Hebrew language says, “Behold the heavens and the heavens of heavens cannot contain you.”Read More God’s presence, greatness, name
I still have a scrapbook in my closet that my father made of clippings from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. What a spectacular event! Such pageantry, such beauty and so much pomp and ceremony! But one could easily say it was fitting for the coronation of the Queen of the British Empire.
So what should then have been appropriate for the coronation of the King of the Universe or Author of Creation?Read More coronation, religion, sovereign
‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself,’ is how Franklin D. Roosevelt put it when marshaling his nation for the hardships of the Second World War.
Roosevelt understood that the battle is not only out there in the world, but inside, in a deeper place in the individual spirit. If the battle can be won ‘in here,’ it can then be won in the trenches and skies and waters of ‘out there.’Read More authority, confidence, fear, security
There’s a joke of a future scientist who approaches God with the claim that he can make a human. He challenges God to a contest on who can make the best one. God agrees. The scientist bends down to scoop some dust to make his person. “No, no,” God says. “You go and make your own dust.”
It’s a comical reminder that there is nothing in this world that is not our Creator’s: not the dust of the earth or anything on it.Read More Possessions, stewardship
Years ago in England, I had a delightful demonstration of authority being used to protect the vulnerable. Picture with me a policeman standing in the traffic circle in front of Buckingham Palace holding up his hand against the flow of traffic. As every vehicle came to a stop, we watched with smiling faces as a mother duck confidently led her brood of young ones across the street in safety. One simple hand signal was all it took to save their lives.Read More gratitude, praise, protection