It would great if we could take what this passage says at face value. The truth is there are some wonderful Christians whose life is shortened by tragedy or illness. Do Christians actually live longer than those who don’t follow Jesus? Loyal Christians in other parts of the world have been raped, murdered and butchered because of their faith. Even Jesus’ own twelve disciples, except one, according to tradition, fell victim to martyrdom.Read More
The foremost theme throughout the Bible is one of love. We see threads about God’s sacrificial love for sinful man woven throughout the Scriptures. But the theme of love also includes commands for us to love God and our fellow man.
The most important commandment in the central text of Judaism was this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.”Read More love, most important commandment, nature of Christ
The Pharisees had peppered Jesus with questions. Now Jesus turned the focus to them. “What do you think of the Messiah?” he asked.
The Pharisees, despite their religious training and knowledge, believed the Messiah was a descendent of David. While correct, their answer fell short of the complete truth – that he was the son of God – and left them stuck in religious rules and traditions.Read More forgiveness, holy living, hope
When God reveals himself he often prepares the way by telling his people what he will do, then he does it, and then he explains what he has done. We get an excellent example of this in the passage before us. In chapter 19 the Lord told Israel that he would come and speak with them, in chapter 20 he gave Israel his law, in following chapters he will expound his law and its implications for their lives.Read More holiness, worship
If you are a typical reader of the English Bible this is where your resolve is tested. When we decide to read through the Bible the books of Genesis and Exodus to this point make for interesting reading because they contain all kinds of stories about God’s dealings with his people. But when we arrive at Exodus 21 things change and the material can become tedious, and we can get bogged down pretty quickly.Read More compassion, law, Scripture, slavery
Because the God who created all things is holy we should not be surprised to learn that we live in a “moral universe.” This means that the universe is regulated by God and if we look at life from God’s point of view we are able to discern principles of equity and justice. Our passage illustrates this with its series of laws specifying what is to be done in a variety of contentious situations that call for discerning arbitration.Read More justice, morality
The writer of this psalm is desperate. His health is in ruins. He feels the passing of days. He doesn’t want to die even though he considers his life a worn-down ruin and likens it to the ruins of Zion. He’s getting old. Perhaps that’s why I resonate with honesty of this prayer. For two decades, I’ve offered up desperate prayers for my handicapped brothers, addicted sister, alcoholic father and toxic bosses. I’ve waited years for God’s answers. I still wait.Read More hope, presence of Jesus, silence, unanswered prayer