The land of rest

“And Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor at the command of the LORD and died there, in the fortieth year after the people of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month. And Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor” (Numbers 33:38-39 ESV).

The Israelites had been without a home for years. Forty years earlier, on the fifteenth day of the first month (Numbers 33:3), they had left Egypt after the ten plagues had culminated with the Passover. They had been “on the road” since that time, in essence “living out of suitcases.” They had no home of their own and were living in tents. They were now into the fortieth year since leaving Egypt. Continue reading “The land of rest”

Is it fair?

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard” (Matthew 20:1-2 NET).

This chapter of Matthew gives us a little insight into work practices in first-century Palestine. One of the first things we learn is that not all people had a regular job – these men who wanted to work would go out in the morning to a designated area, identified in verse 3 as the marketplace, and wait for landowners to come hire the men they needed for the day. The standard wage was a denarius. In Jesus’ story, this landowner went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. Continue reading “Is it fair?”

Of Tickets and Spelunkers – Grasping the Two Sides of Works

No one would confuse the activities of climbing, crawling, squeezing or rappelling as how to obtain an entry ticket to a cave. Nor would anyone be so silly as to think that simply tightly holding a ticket exemplifies a person as a thrill-seeking spelunker. Yet, when it comes to salvation and service, how often do people confuse being saved with their purpose? Continue reading Of Tickets and Spelunkers – Grasping the Two Sides of Works