In his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, Phillip Keller talks about the day he bought the first sheep for his own flock. He recounts how his neighbor handed him a knife and said, “Well, Philip, they’re yours. Now you’ll have to put your mark on them.”
During her last few years, my mother suffered from some very debilitating health issues. After more than six decades of serving God first as a missionary in Africa, then in home-based missions, the day came when she was pretty much confined to a chair or to her bed.
Have you ever been tempted to do something wrong? Do you feel in those times like God is testing you? Or maybe you realize your temptation comes because of something…
was engaged to Joseph who was a descendent of David (Luke 1:27). We know that she had lived, up to this point, a pretty virtuous life, good enough that the angel addressed her as “highly favored” (Luke 1:28). But we don’t know anything about her parents, what her interests might have been, what she enjoyed doing, what her hopes and dreams might have been.
The story of David and Bathsheba is a sad one in a number of ways. It put a permanent blight on David’s legacy. We read in 1 Kings 15:5, “For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite” (emphasis added).
As our story opens in chapter 1 of the book of Ruth, Naomi, Elimelech and their two sons have left Bethlehem (ironically, “the House of Bread”) because of a famine. They settle in Moab where Elimelech dies. Both sons, who have married Moabite women, also die, and Naomi is left a bitter widow.
Two men have been sent by Joshua to secretly check out the city of Jericho to get a feel for what the Israelites would face when they got there. Unfortunately, either they weren’t very good at covert operations, or they just stood out as “not one of us,” and the king of Jericho found out about them. He sent soldiers to the house of Rahab, where he had been told the men were staying.
We find the story of Tamar in Genesis 38. As the chapter opens, Jacob’s son Judah has married a Canaanite woman named Bath-shua, with whom he had three sons, Er, Onan and Shelah. Er, the oldest son, married a Canaanite woman named Tamar, but he died before they had any children. Genesis 38:7 explains, “But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death.” The exact nature of his wickedness is not given.
Okay, here’s a pretty random thought that’s not connected to anything I’ve written lately, but I’ve had it on my list of potential articles for several months. The question comes…
Many years ago I taught a Bible study entitled “Christ BC” (Christ Before Christ). It was a beautiful study of Jesus found in 12 or 13 people and events in the Old Testament. I was reminded of that study today as I read a challenge to look for the phrase “this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet,” or similar phrases in the Gospel of Matthew. Mind officially blown.