As a person who loves words, and how they can be strung together in fascinating and enchanting ways, I have always enjoyed a phrase in 2 Timothy chapter four. Paul says: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires…”
There are a growing number of definitions of the word “highway”. In the distant past it would have meant a public path or road. In modern times we think of a multi-lane pavement filled with fast-moving cars (or sometimes not as fast as we might wish) and congestion. We also have a more theoretical, more modern highway – the Information Highway – which is the communication network of the technological world that uses a variety of devices to quickly relay great quantities of information.
One of the stories in this chapter of 2 Kings has always stood out in my mind as a testimony to God’s intimate involvement in the life of a believer. It is the story of the Shunammite woman’s restoration of her land after she had been forced, by famine, to live in Philistia for seven years. Now, I took a statistics class in college, so perhaps that is why this story intrigues me so.
I have read, re-read, and read again, I Corinthians 8-10, concerning food offered to idols. I realize greater minds than mine have contemplated this topic, but I have struggled to come to grips with it as well. It has bothered me for a long time because I have heard particular verses “unveiled” in ways I have felt uncomfortable with, and I really desire to understand what is truly going on here.
The prevalence of Pharisees in Jesus’ life keeps popping out at me for some reason. I think it has to do with one of the classes we had at our Bible school this year that discussed the topic of legalism. My attention keeps getting dragged to these men – rulers, priests, scribes, religious leaders. They never left him alone, did they?
I often have lots of questions when it comes to the Law of Moses. Some things don’t make perfect sense to me. I know the failing is in me, not the Law of God – but I sometimes find them puzzling, even disturbing. Things to meditate further on. Or file it in a “Cold Case” File in my mind and come back to when I grow in more wisdom and understanding. Such is the case today with our Deuteronomy reading.
The more a person studies the Word of God, the more precious and interconnected to modern life it becomes. These are not ancient, outdated words from a past era. They are powerful words that can give us guidance and wisdom in the 21st Century. And the most amazing part of it is that they did the same for people reading them in all the previous centuries as well! The absolute truths of God and His understanding of us (His creatures) has never changed. I feel a sense of astonishment over this, time and time again.
Indeed! Who can stand before human jealousy? It is a passionate and often violent emotion. Our readings in Proverbs 27:4 teaches us today that “wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?!” Jealousy is worse than the fierceness of violent anger and the relentless, unexpected force of sweeping floods. Is this true? The wisdom of Proverbs singles it out to tell us so.
I don’t know about you, but I find the story of Balaam rather a curious one. Just who was this guy? Why did God work with him? A talking donkey, really?! And what’s the point of the inclusion of this account in Scriptures? These and other questions scrambled together in my head, so I knew I had to do some Bible detective work to find answers. I was not disappointed….