A friend was telling me recently about the new security systems on his car. Lane change detecter, detecter to tell him if he is approaching the car in front too quickly, integrated Bluetooth system, and he was telling me that some manufacturers are talking about incorporating a device that will detect if he drops off to sleep. All that to protect us, to ensure our safety, and to keep us in the right lane, at the right speed, and without going to sleep. These technological efforts are completely admirable, and perhaps they help us realize that our spiritual protection is just as important.Read More
Many troubles awaited David as he returned to resume full authority as king over Judah and Israel. Tribes, clans and factions are a challenge to even the most judicious of leaders.
At this stage of his comeback, David needed reliable people at his side. He knew he could count on Barzillai, a wealthy man from the northern reaches of the kingdom who had provided for David and his troops during the darkest hours of the insurrection. So David invited Barzillai to reside in the king’s court, a place of tremendous honour and prestige.Read More generosity, loyalty, graciousness
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
“Aha! We’ve caught him, breaking the law.” The law – everything in Leviticus and Deuteronomy – says that you should not work on the Sabbath. In the Ten Commandments God specifies that the seventh day belongs to the Lord and that means that both Jew and Gentile (and even animals!) should worship and rest. That means no work. It’s built into the way the world has been made (Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11).Read More compassion, worship, Sabbath, rest
I remember once being present when people were discussing whether, if Jesus were among us today, he would agree to being interviewed on T.V. It was an interesting discussion.
The Jews expected God’s kingdom to be launched with a big fanfare. It’s easy to see why. Passages like Zechariah 14:9: (“The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”) They looked forward to a day when God would rule.Read More kingdom, big numbers
The question, “Will only a few be saved?” was a live issue among Jews at the time. Some of them thought that of them – the Jews – only a few would be saved in the end. In their minds it all depended on lineage. So they narrowed presence at the banquet to certain Jews and not others. The question probably means, Who among us will be saved? The idea of Gentiles being saved was far from their minds. The answer they got from Jesus was not at all what they expected.Read More grace, salvation, discipleship
Some of the earlier psalms we went through in this series have been lament psalms. Times of despair and crying out to a God who sometimes feels absent. But here we have a “let it all out and light the fireworks” psalm.
In Isaiah 40:28 (the Message) there is a great line which reads, “He’s the creator of all you can see or imagine.”Read More creation, praise, joy, glory