God, lovingkindness and longsuffering

As a young man, in the late ’70’s I worked construction on a framing crew, and as is often the case, there were several rather unique characters among them. The lead foremen had an odd sense of humor and nick-named everyone and everything. While working with the crew was generally a good time, the man we worked for was a raging alcoholic, whom the foreman nicknamed “the Strapper”.

The Strapper was a master of verbal abuse and humiliation. He was no carpenter himself, but he always had plenty of work lined up and paid every week. The two foremen who were the actual builders were willing to put up with the abuse because the pay was good and the work was steady. Continue reading “God, lovingkindness and longsuffering”

A Different Kind Of Power

The fury of God’s wrath is fearful to witness; it’s frightening to even read about. Israel was close to feeling the heat of divine rage. God had been true to his promises by bringing them to the doorstep of Canaan, their soon-to-be home. Now all that remained was to march forward and take possession with God’s help.

Israel, however, chose to believe their eyes instead of God’s promises. They quickly forgot the plagues upon Egypt, the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, the gushing water from a rock, and other manifestations of God’s power. Upon hearing the pessimistic report of the ten spies they decided a return to Egypt was their best option (Numbers 14:1-4).

God’s anger was justified: “I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they,” vowed God to Moses (Numbers 14:12, NKJV). No longer would God’s people be called the children of Israel (Jacob); that race would be wiped from the face of the earth. If God did as he vowed, the new people would be the children of Moses. Continue reading “A Different Kind Of Power”