Many years ago, my grandfather-in-law was given a beautiful oak Mission-style sofa by his neighbor. This neighbor told GrandDaddy that he could keep it until he asked for it back again. GrandDaddy owned that sofa for so many years that the neighbor finally died. Fast forward more years, and the neighbor’s children look up GrandDaddy (now living elsewhere) and ask him to give the sofa back. He refused – on the grounds that the neighbor originally said he could keep it unless he (the neighbor himself) asked for it – and he was long since dead!
Did you ever notice that there is one great Bible exception to the second of the 10 Commandments? You recall that it is the one that forbids the “making for yourself any graven image or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them…” The great exception is found both in our readings today in 2 Chronicles, and frequently in the Book of Ezekiel (also currently in our readings). “What is it?”, you ask? Da da Daaa…The adornment of the tabernacle – and specifically for our consideration today – The Cherubim!
The Apostle Paul was a man that had it all figured out. In a world where many are struggling to find meaning and peace, we would do well to listen to this wise and experienced man’s advice. Like the Lord Jesus, Paul “learned obedience from the things which he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8 We cannot dismiss him, by thinking he did not understand how hard life can be. If there’s any doubt of this you might want to remind yourself of his incredible list of life experiences to know he was a victor.
As I was contemplating the days after the resurrection outlined in Luke 24, the caring behavior of Jesus struck me. Here he was, resurrected and all-powerful, immortal and finished with the great sin-battle, and yet what is he doing? He is more super than all superheroes and yet he is condescending to mortal, fallible people to offer them encouragement and wisdom. I find it so very lovely. So very humbling.
Do you lead a super busy life? You probably chuckle because you are just getting around to reading this two weeks later than September 26 – since you’ve been too busy to peruse it until now, right? I think most of us could claim the dubious reality of living jam-packed, crazy-busy lives. The pressures of being students, or holding down jobs, or family obligations, or social activities, or travels, or maintaining homes, or a mixture of all of the above, can usually fill our time – and then some.
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?