The story of Noah starts with God’s grief and heartache at how sinful people had become. He observed that “…every inclination of the thoughts of his (people’s) heart was only evil all the time”Read More
When we analyze a situation, our judgments are often partly right and partly wrong. In this passage Elihu gets at least one thing exactly right – God is just and loves justice. But that truth is what creates the tension in the Book of Job, since Job believes God has denied him justice (vs 5-6). Elihu insists that God cannot do evil or anything that is unjust (vs 10-12). Even more significantly, Elihu argues that God is the one who brings about justice (v 17), yet Job is accusing this God of doing wrong.Read More judgment, justice, human fallibility
God definitively answered Pharaoh’s question, “Who is this Lord and why should I obey him?” (5:2). Pharaoh discovered God’s uniqueness and let the Israelites go! The Lord displays his nature, defeats the gods of Egypt and delivers his people from bondage. God is the director and producer of this dramatic documentary. The Israelites were obedient and ready to be freed to worship God (vv 35, 50-51).Read More plagues, judgment, Passover
Not many people face severe outcomes like this when given the choice whether or not to follow God. Rarely is there immediate judgment for choosing not to follow God. Yet we still disobey, and willful disobedience will have its consequences.
Because of the violent nature of God’s response in this passage to the worship of idols, it is easy to overlook the third form of punishment declared by God.Read More judgment, sacrifice, discipline
If you had to diagram history, what would you draw? Endless circles – history repeating itself? Or a line snaking downward as the human gift for technology intertwines with the human appetite for destruction?
The map drawn in Psalm 75 follows a different trajectory than any we might sketch based on current events.Read More promise, timing, judgment
This part of the story begins with a ‘buck up’ speech from God! It does not take long for Joshua to find out the truth about what is really going on. The people of God have disobeyed the source of their life and their power. They broke their covenant with God. God has not left them – they have left God.
The tragedy of this story as it unfolds is that people closest to Joshua are just as disobedient as many of the others.Read More grace, judgment, compassion, righteousness
If you are using a Bible that has cross-references you will see how many times Zechariah refers back to the Psalms and the prophets. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he could see how what was happening in his life was part of God’s big story, going right back to the covenant he made with Abraham (Genesis 22:16-18), David, and the prophets (e.g. Jeremiah 23:5-6). He could see what was happening in the light of the whole history of Israel.Read More judgment, Saviour, Day of the Lord, blessing, messenger
This part of Luke continues the section that began at 12:1, where Jesus warned the crowds of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, who clung to him in the hope that they would catch him out in something he said (11:13-12:1). He was now surrounded by huge crowds.
We don’t know anything more about the incident related here, of Pilate ordering the massacre of Jews while they were offering sacrifice, presumably in the Temple.Read More sin, judgment, suffering, mercy
Was there ever a passage with so much emotion?
Jesus’ death was no accident. Not even a simple miscarriage of justice, though it was that. He knew what he had come to do, and ironically not even the Pharisees’ warning that Herod was out for his life could deter him from giving his life. He knew what awaited him in Jerusalem. He gave his life for us. It was not taken from him.Read More willful blindness, tears, judgment, love
Even though our dog Katie is deaf and nearly blind, there’s nothing wrong with her sense of smell. Open a jar of peanut butter and she starts panting. We’re well trained! She always gets a spoonful of her favourite snack.
The literal meaning of the word “coveting” is “panting after.”Read More judgment, covetousness, discontent