A Woman To Be Praised

A Woman To Be Praised

(Today marks 40 years since we said, “I do”. Here’s to 40 more.)

Proverbs 31:1

The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him

I did some research on King Lemuel.  I didn’t know who he was and I thought King Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs.  Some scholars think otherwise, but I guess who wrote the book isn’t as important as what is in the book.  After reading their arguments I still believe it is the work of King Solomon.

It turns out that King Lemuel was really King Solomon just using another name much like he does in the book of Ecclesiastes.  In that book Solomon only refers to himself as “The Preacher”.  And so it is likely that the advice being given to King Solomon is from his mother Bathsheba.

As I read Proverbs 31, I came to verses 10 through 31, which in the English Standard Version of the Bible is titled, “The Woman Who Fears the Lord”.  And as I read them I thought of my wife.

Today June 16, marks the fortieth year of my life with this woman as my wife, and there is none other in this world with whom I want to spend my remaining days. Continue reading

The Road To A Good Life

The Road To A Good Life

Deuteronomy 8:5-10

Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

What got my attention was verse 5:

Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.

Verses 6 through 10 goes on to elaborate the reason for this “discipline”.

Anyone who has raised a child can relate to these verse, just as I did. Continue reading

The Power Of The One

The Power Of The One

Matthew 13:31-32

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

This is one of the many parables told by Christ.  Most commentaries that I read about these verses interpret the story to mean, one person sharing the words of The Gospel will grow and spread around the world and be given to all of mankind.  It is referring to the growth of the Christian faith, from one to 2.2 billion.

I agree with all of that, but once again my take on this was not about the masses but about the one, the individual.  Christ is talking about the power, the gift, which has been given to each individual by God. Continue reading

The Vessel Spoiled

The Vessel Spoiled

Jeremiah 18:1-4

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

When I read these verses I had a thought that immediately came to mind.  So I wrote down the chapter and verse numbers and the simple thought that came with it. Continue reading

A Low Whisper

A Low Whisper

1 King 19:9-15

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.  And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.

The prophet Elijah has fled to a cave to hide from the persecution of Jezebel.  Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab who did not walk in the way of the Lord.  Jezebel had slaughtered the prophets of God, except for one hundred who Obadiah, the overseer of Ahab’s household hid in caves. Continue reading

The Bible Antiquated?

The Bible Antiquated?

People will tell you that the Bible is antiquated.

What does antiquated mean?

“Very old and no longer useful, popular or accepted: very old fashion, obsolete”

Or how about this definition:

“Outmoded or discredited by reason of age; being out of style of fashion”

Many people do consider the Bible to be very old, no longer popular or accepted.  Many consider it to be out of style and out of fashion.

But to say it is no longer useful or to discredit it by reason of age is foolish.

The Bible is not antiquated. Continue reading

The Seed, The Individual

The Seed, The Individual

Matthew 13:18-23

“Hear then the parable of the sower:  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.  As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy,  yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.  As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.  As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

At the beginning of Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus tells the crowd, The Parable of the Sower.  If you like, go to your Bible, either book or online, and read the parable.  I’ll continue assuming that you are familiar with it.  And if you are familiar with the parable, then I am going to assume you are also familiar with the explanation that Jesus gave to his disciples as referenced in the beginning of this post. Continue reading