By Johnny O. Trail — People tend to show off what they have. When I took General Business in high school, we talked about a concept called “conspicuous consumption.” Conspicuous consumption is defined as “expenditure on or consumption of luxuries on a lavish scale in an attempt to enhance one’s prestige.” (Bing online dictionary). The idea is that a person purchases or possesses certain items to show off their wealth.
Maybe the Judahite king, Hezekiah, wanted to show off this wealth when he entertained certain emissaries from Babylon. Isaiah 39:2 says, Continue reading “Ramifications of our actions on future generations”
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live (Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV).
This choice, presented thousands of years ago to a nascent nation about to enter an unknown land, is still ours today.
God has always given us choices. We can choose between that which is of God and that which is of the world (Joshua 24:15-22). We can choose the way of faithfulness (Psalm 119:30) or the way of darkness. We can choose the better, timelier things (Luke 10:42) or be allured by lesser, flashier things (Genesis 13:11).
Continue reading “The Inescapable power of choice”
“As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he committed this cold-hearted crime, he must pay for the lamb four times over!” (2 Samuel 12:5-6 NET). So said King David when Nathan told the story to convict David of his sin with Bathsheba. I don’t think it is a coincidence that this is exactly the price David paid: he lost four of his children.
The first child to die was the one who had been conceived the night he spent with Bathsheba. God struck him with an illness and a week later the child died (2 Samuel 12:15-18). Continue reading “Further consequences of David’s sin”
In Acts 13, as Paul was speaking at the Jewish synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, he made this statement about King David: “God raised up David their king. He testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’” (Acts 13:22 NET). What higher praise could anyone have than for God to describe them as someone who is “after my heart.”
Yet David was far from perfect. We read in 2 Samuel 11 about his affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his inner circle of warriors (he was one of the thirty listed in 2 Samuel 23). But that wasn’t the end of the story. Bathsheba became pregnant and when David couldn’t get Uriah to sleep with his wife to cover up the pregnancy, he set it up so that Uriah would be killed in battle, in reality committing murder. He then sent for and married Bathsheba who, in due course, gave birth to a son. Continue reading “Sin has consequences”
“Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans?” (Luke 13:2, NASB).
Is there such a thing as one sin being greater than another?
Jesus was asked about some Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. Josephus wrote about skirmishes between the Jews and the Romans – particularly around Jewish feasts – that resulted in heavy bloodshed (Pulpit Commentary). Perhaps such an event is here referenced. Continue reading ““Greater sinners…””
“So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.’ . . . To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children.’ . . . Then to Adam He said . . . ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life'” (Genesis 3:14, 16, 17 NKJV). Continue reading “The cost of transgressions”
Oskar Gröning, 93, has been indicted for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for his role as a member of Hitler’s SS unit at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
When prisoners were brought to the camp, their belongings were confiscated and Gröning would collect their currency and send it elsewhere to help finance the war effort. Continue reading “Sins will find you out”
One of the big stories in sports is the release of Michael Vick. Vick, a sensational quarterback with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, was released Wednesday from federal prison. He spent 19 months in confinement after pleading guilty to charges of financing a dogfighting operation. Continue reading Deserving Of A Second Chance?
A Typical Pond Ponds are interesting places. As a young boy growing up in New Jersey, sometimes I would wander down through our small orchard on hot muggy summer days to a wooded area with two small ponds. This was my private place for practicing skipping stones as well as enjoying the effects of a rock slamming down into water. Undoubtedly you too have watched a perfectly glass smooth surface be destroyed by a single rock making its stupendous splash entry. Then the concentric ripples begin to expand until they strike the shore only to bounce back again. And if … Continue reading Rocks in the Pond