God uses the strong man of the Bible, despite himself.
Samson is one of the leaders of Israel that we remember – after all, he was the strong man of the Bible. He was a man called by God before birth to lead Israel and to lead a rather austere life. But even though he was called by God the life he lived was far from what God wanted. Continue reading “God works for his people’s good”
Do we step forward when leadership is needed?
One of the leaders God raised up when Israel had forsaken him and had been subdued by an enemy was an unlikely man named Gideon. I say ‘unlikely’ because he really didn’t have the qualities we would look for in a leader. He is introduced in Judges 6. Continue reading “God’s kind of leader”
God provides a refuge for all.
Isn’t it good to have a place to go when life tumbles in? Isn’t it nice to have a place of refuge where we know we are safe and don’t have to worry about anything? God provided such a place for the Israelites, in particular when someone had accidentally killed someone else. Continue reading “A place of refuge”
The Israelites were deceived for two reasons.
As Israel began their conquest of the land of Canaan, God gave them victory after victory. After defeating Jericho and eventually Ai, the rulers of the territory in the north decided to stand together against this unstoppable invading force. Word quickly spread about the power of this new nation. One group of people, though, decided on a different strategy. Continue reading “Looks can be deceiving”
Throughout the Bible God has given his people reminders of what he has done.
Throughout the pages of scripture God has given his people reminders of what he has done. After the flood God put a rainbow in the sky as a reminder of his covenant. Continue reading “Reminders”
Five unique women mentioned in a list of Jesus’ ancestors.
In Jesus’ ‘royal’ lineage recorded in Matthew’s gospel we find five women mentioned. That women are mentioned in a list of ancestors is fairly unique, but these were unique women. Continue reading “Rahab: Jesus’ Gentile ancestor”
John saw Jesus as a lamb that had been given as a sacrifice.
“Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’ But no-one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no-one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.” (Revelation 5:1-4 NIV)
John saw that the One on the throne had a scroll in his right hand. The right hand was the position of authority, which indicates that this had God’s authority. This scroll was written on both sides – as it seems to have been rolled, John would be able to see writing. The significance seems to be that it was so full of important information that it had to be written on both sides and was now full and complete. This scroll was sealed with seven seals. Continue reading “The only one worthy”
Jesus had a special relationship with twelve men whom he called apostles. He selected them to be the ones who were with him to hear his teaching and to see the miraculous signs. Most were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God, although one betrayed him. We can see that special relationship between these disciples and Jesus in his prayer to God. He prayed specifically for them, knowing what they would face when he was no longer in the world. Continue reading “Jesus’ concern for his disciples”
Evidence was presented, but the person went right on talking as if nothing had been said.
Isn’t it frustrating when people choose to ignore the evidence simply because they don’t want to know? I’m sure this has happened to you; it happened to me recently.
When questioning something that had happened and evidence was presented the person went right on talking as if nothing had been said or presented. How can people totally ignore the evidence when it is plain? Continue reading “Ignoring the evidence”
People of all ages are faced with the same dilemma as the Jews when they heard Jesus: who is he?
“At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, ‘Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no-one will know where he is from.’” (John 7:25-27 NIV)
To understand the reaction of the people to Jesus we have to, as someone once said, try to put ourselves in the shoes of the Jews. We need to remember that they knew the writings of the Jewish prophets. Daniel’s writings, in particular, pointed towards the time they were living as the time that the Messiah would come. Luke wrote that the people at this time were “in expectation” or “waiting in expectation” – when they saw John immersing they even wondered if he might be the Messiah. Continue reading “Who is Jesus?”