By Johnny O. Trail — During this season of quarantine, I have taken on projects that I have not had the time to complete. One of these projects included cleaning out the garage. Going through old boxes and other items that were quickly stowed away awoke memories from the past. Among the fondest of those memories, was the re-discovery of my father’s old fishing tackle box.
Upon opening the box, it was determined that the contents were in a very rough condition. My father rarely fished with artificial lures, so most of the items were hooks, sinkers, floats, and fishing line. The box had not been opened or used for about fifteen years, so the items were rusted and stuck to various parts of the box. Continue reading “The box does not matter — the memories do”
When we think of Solomon’s wisdom, three incidents from his life would readily come to mind as well as the book he wrote that we call ‘Proverbs’. If you recall, he asked for wisdom from God when he began his reign – and God answered that request. We see his wisdom when two women were claiming the same baby. The third incident is the visit by the Queen of Sheba.
“When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, she came to challenge him with difficult questions … Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king.” (2 Chronicles 9:1-2 NET) Continue reading “The wisdom of Solomon”
God had set the Israelites free from being slaves of the Egyptians. As they camped at Mount Sinai, they were being formed into an orderly nation. As we will see from the census in Numbers 1, there were over 600,000 men, aged 20 and over, who were able to go to war. Conservative estimates, taking into account that there are generally more females born than males, plus the elderly who couldn’t bear arms, those under 20, and the tribe of Levi, would give a nation of at least two to three million people. That would place them around the same size as Lithuania, Nambia or Slovenia today. But they did not yet have land and were living in tents in the wilderness.
To prepare this new nation to enter the Promised Land, God made promises to them. These were conditional on their obedience and living by the commands he gave them. And for a budding nation, these were quite powerful promises. Continue reading “Promises and blessings”
Crack! Creak! CRUNNNNNNCH! The Yard Boy and I were sitting on our patio as we heard the neighbor’s tree fall. It had been growing there for a long time, and had already lost quite a few limbs. This time, the biggest part of it split off and fell across the neighbor’s driveway. There was no wind or rain. The tree had simply decided (much like we had, at this point) that this calm, pleasant evening would be a good time to give up trying to stay upright anymore.
Luckily, no vehicles were harmed in this scenario. As the Yard Boy went over to investigate, Mike told him that he had been worried about that tree coming down for quite some time. It was quickly dispatched with a chain saw. Continue reading “Acts of God”
As Job’s friends continued to try to reason with him, they were reflecting their own world-view, a view that many people still have today. That view stated that if someone was wealthy, it was obviously because God was blessing them. If they were in poverty or if bad things happened to them, it was because God had withdrawn his blessings due to sin in their lives. Continue reading “Why do the wicked prosper?”
As we read through the dialogue in Job, we have the advantage of knowing what was in chapter 1. It was there that God declared that there was no one like Job: “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil” (Job 1:8 NET). As we read through the dialogue between Job and his three friends, keep in mind that Job is innocent of doing anything that caused the calamities that he has had to endure. Continue reading “It’s your own fault”
Job was an exceptional man. God described him in these terms: “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil” (Job 1:8 NET).
In worldly terms he was rich and successful. In the list of what he owned were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, plus many servants. These were what made a man wealthy in the East and in his day. Although we aren’t given an exact time that he lived, it would appear to be in the time of Patriarchs, as we shall later see. Continue reading “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away”
Since Satan is always putting obstacles in our way, we should pray that the Lord will be with us in our challenges because the Christian life is very difficult (Matthew 6:34).
While it may seem an unexpected question, should we pray for our blessings in the same way?
God blesses us immeasurably if we’re in Christ (Ezekiel 34:26; Ephesians 1:3). He wants to open the windows of heaven for his faithful children (Malachi 3:10). But with blessings come responsibility. Continue reading “Can we handle our blessings?”
“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath” (Matthew 13:12, ASV).
Need something done? Find a busy person.
That’s the old saying, one that Paul would call “faithful.”
Tom Holland once wrote (and I’m not getting out the book, but I’m pretty sure it was The Preacher and His Work, but I’ll get it close enough) that a person who says, “I never have enough time,” is actually saying, “I am a poor manager of time.” Oh, how that statement stings with truth! Continue reading “Essence of the abundant life”
As we mature in Christ, we realize that there is more to blessings than many realize. Continue reading Understanding blessings