We need to remind ourselves that sweetened food is a modern phenomenon. In Old Testament times food only rarely came sweetened. Honey stood out as a treat, refreshingly different from the rest of the diet. Imagine that rich dessert most of us occasionally enjoy. Wisdom is like this special treat. It brightens our lives with its goodness and makes life richer.Read More
Radical Holiness and a Dangerous God
On the Day of Pentecost God’s Spirit began renovating the human heart and restoring human society. God was creating a new covenant community with Jesus in the centre and God’s love radiating outward in all directions. As Charles Moore writes, the first Christians didn’t just invite Jesus into their hearts and begin attending church in Jerusalem.Read More Temple, holiness
By the Power of the Resurrection
For me, reading the Book of Acts is like listening to the movements of a majestic symphony. Following an entire symphony from beginning to end is very different than hearing a just a few bars or sound bites played out of context.
Before going much further, consider taking some time to read through the entire book of Acts in two or three sittings.Read More power, witness, resurrection
He Wholly Followed the Lord
It couldn’t have been easy. All around him people were living without regard to God and his commands. They had instead given in to the practices of the pagan nations around them and worshipped the pagan gods. Perhaps it was easier. Perhaps it was more fun. Ever since Aaron and the golden calf – which they worshipped while God was giving Moses the ten commandments! – people preferred the pagan rituals.Read More commitment, obedience
Light Out Of Darkness
Today’s reading is one of the greatest prophecies in the Old Testament. If you are familiar with Handel’s Messiah you will find yourself singing it.
But don’t miss the first verse. The tribal lands of Zebulun and Naphtali were in the fertile farmland in the north of Israel, a multi-ethnic area where many Gentiles had settled. The description of it here extends it all the way west to the Mediterranean Sea and east to the other side of the river Jordan.Read More light, prophecy, peace, Gentile
Justice And Judgment
It is difficult to read passages like this, where God is angry and punishes. We think of God as a God of love, who forgives and will eventually take us to be with him in heaven. Perhaps we think this is just the Old Testament, and the New Testament teaches differently.
Take a closer look.Read More justice, captivity, judgment
Our Great Champion
How are we to reconcile the picture of a God who appears angry and war-mongering in Psalm 76 with a God of love? The truth is that when a loved one is threatened the only good and right response is to fight to protect that person.Read More justice, victory, cosmic battle