Tag Archives: the Bible

June 19; Avoiding God

Psalms 49, 83, 91; I Kings 1:2-18, 3:1-3, 22:47-49; 2 Chronicles 20: 35-37

God, through the prophet Elijah, asked King Ahaziah, “Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?”

I think God is probably asking the same of us. Is it because there is no God in the USA for us to consult that we have to consult psychologists, scientists, historians, intellectuals, government officials, the media, and send out surveys to determine our direction and define our truth?

Ahaziah died because of his attempt to avoid God.

Just saying.

May 27; Gold, Silver, Rubies, and Wisdom

Proverbs 2-4

Yesterday I realized that Solomon’s wisdom, as extraordinary as it was, has nothing on the wisdom that is ours in the pages of God’s Word. What a privilege is ours to have access to God’s wisdom every day!

In Proverbs 3:13-15 Solomon reminds us that, like gold, silver, and precious rubies, wisdom comes from digging. He continually encourages us to “get” wisdom, or “find” wisdom. These and similar phrases tell me that just reading a few verses every day cannot produce wisdom.

In order to receive what God has available to His children, we have to ingest his Word, read it then read it again, think on it, pray about it. Understanding something requires effort.

Has anyone really ever learned a foreign language by playing a recording while they sleep? Let’s just say, I doubt it. Because if that were true, schools would be equipped with bunkbeds and earphones instead of desks and computers.

Learning takes effort. Gaining wisdom takes effort. Mining gold, silver, and rubies takes effort. And what we have in the pages of God’s Word is so much more valuable than metal and stone.

May 26; Wisdom At Our Fingertips

I Kings 10:1-13, 4:1-19, 29-34; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12; Proverbs 1

Solomon’s wisdom was legendary. People came from all over the ancient world to get a glimpse of Solomon’s wisdom, to sit at his feet and learn about the things he knew. Solomon’s wisdom came from God. And it showed.

The Queen of Sheba said, “How happy your men must be. How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom.” It would seem so, wouldn’t it? Those men and officials had easy access to the wisdom others had to travel a great distance to hear. They were privileged to be in the presence of this great wisdom, this fathomless knowledge every day.

The same wisdom that was given to Solomon has been given to us. The same God who bestowed Solomon with that amazing gift has gifted us with His Word. How happy God’s children must be, who have His own Words in a book on a stand right next to their beds. How happy God’s children must be to be able to open those precious pages any time of the day or night, and drink in God’s wisdom like those ancient kings and queens drank in Solomon’s.

Or are we? Do we truly realize what we have in the Bible? Every chapter, every verse is God-breathed, God inspired, from His heart to ours. God’s wisdom at our fingertips!

February 24; Road Trip

Leviticus 24-25

Many moons ago, children, if you were going on a road trip, and if you belonged to AAA, you could go and get what we called a TripTik. An agent would sit down with you, map and highlighter in hand, and help you plan your route.

He or she would look into their files and even tell you where you might run into road construction and delays. He or she would re-route you around busy city streets, tell you about tourist attractions you might want to see. And when it was all said and done, you would walk out with a highlighted map, books on restaurants, motels, and sites to see, and the spiral-bound TripTik itself, including fold-outs with detailed city maps.

You can’t know how fun and how satisfying it was to turn a page after the first 50 miles, then another, and another as your trip progressed. Guess you had to be there. But trust me, glancing at your phone is just not the same.

I read today how Moses, when an Egyptian/Jew blasphemed God, had the young man put in prison until God told Moses what to do. The law was plain about a Jewish person who blasphemed the Name. You stone him to death. But there was no specific direction for a guilty half/Jew. So Moses waited until he got the word from God.

I’ve often considered my Bible a roadmap. But when you think about it, it isn’t really. It’s not like a TripTik that gives you inch by inch directions, including detours. Warren Wiersbe tells us the Bible is more of a compass. It keeps us going in the right direction while we, “…walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) (Be Holy; Published by David C. Cook; 1994; page 143)

My Bible is not a road map. But in its pages are everything we need for our journey. Everything we face in this life is addressed in Scripture. Every decision you need to make has a parallel in the Bible. But you have to know what the Bible says.

It takes a bit of maturity to recognize the treasure that is ours in the Bible. It’s not a quick-fix. It’s not a step by step instruction manual. It’s much more than that. It’s the living Word of God.

We have got to be prayerfully in God’s Word every day, listening to the direction God wants us to hear. It takes patience and intentionality. We may be detoured occasionally as God points out other truths He doesn’t want us to miss. But if we read it, if we use it, it will get us where we are going on this road trip called life.

And we’ll enjoy the journey!

 

 

 

January 8; Ask Away

Job 11-14

I don’t think it’s a sin to ask God “why” when bad things happen or when things happen we don’t understand. I think crying out, “Where are you, God?” is often a natural response to grief. Job had a lot of questions of God. Some of which I’ve asked God myself.

But remember, this book is not just about suffering. It’s about worship. And in the midst of pleading with God for answers, Job said:

“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.” (13:15)

Job knew where to place his hope, even when the answers weren’t coming.

In fact, in chapter 14, Job declares that even if he doesn’t get his answers in this life, this life is not the end. And Job would rather place his hope in the Righteous Judge, than in the wisdom of his friends.

Do you have questions for God? Ask away. Then remember, you can do something Job could not do. Open your Bible. Read what Job longed to hear – the Word of the Lord. I know without a doubt, every answer you need to know is in there. And if you have a question God doesn’t answer this side of heaven, worship Him anyway. Love Him anyway. Obey Him anyway.

He is God. He is fair, and right, and good. And if He doesn’t think you need to know the “why” of something, trust Him anyway. You might not get the answer you think you need. But He will give you Himself. Sometimes that’s all you need to know.

Acts 15-21; Do Your Homework

I’ve been listening to a young woman recently elected to the House of Representatives, and wonder how anyone so unfamiliar with truth could have received one vote, much less a majority of votes.

Often you see reports of large demonstrations involving hundreds of people. But, when interviewed, some can’t even explain what it is they are demonstrating against.

Some people who call themselves Christians can quote popular talkshow hosts, TV preachers, and inspirational authors, but can’t tell you where to find the book of Hebrews.

In Acts we see how easily the Asian Jews persuaded the people to turn against Paul with lies. And not just once. I guess the ability (or desire) to be informed has been a problem for centuries. It’s just easier to go with the flow.

But then you have the Bereans. These people listened to everything Paul had to say. Then they searched the Scriptures to make sure what he said was true. They didn’t take someone else’s word.

And don’t you take mine. I often encourage you to read the Bible for yourself and let God have the final word about anything I say. I would encourage you to do that before you swallow anything your pastor, teacher, neighbor, favorite author or TV preacher says, too.

Do your homework.

And do your homework before you hit “send” on that FB rant, or for heaven’s sake, before running for political office.

Where do you go for answers? Who is your final authority? On what do you base your beliefs? One day, when you look Jesus in the eye, you will be held accountable for what you believe.

Do your homework.

Ezekiel 16-20; God’s Got This

The elders went to Ezekiel because they wanted some answers from God. God’s response? “I will not be inquired of by you.” (20:3b)

Some people can get frustrated with God because they aren’t receiving the answers to their questions. “When I get to heaven, the first thing I’m going to do is ask God…” Some may hold God at arm’s length, or stop going to church because they have questions and aren’t getting them answered.

If that describes you, hear God ask, “Who do you think you are?”

When the elders came to Ezekiel to ask their questions, instead of getting answers, God proceeded to list their sins. And there were a lot of sins to list.

This is what I feel God is saying to me through His Word today: He doesn’t owe us anything. Not health or wealth or happiness or even answers to questions. We forfeited our right to equality with God the first time we disobeyed Mommy.

God didn’t even owe us His written Word. But He gave it to us anyway. In these pages are the answers to every question God thinks is important for us to know the answers to. The rest is none of our business.

I guess first of all, if you aren’t getting the answers you think you need to know, my question to you is: Are you reading and studying the Bible? If you aren’t getting answers, don’t complain if you aren’t reading the text book.

Secondly, if you aren’t getting answers – trust God anyway. The One who died for you, forgives you, never leaves or forsakes you, and promises you an eternity with Him, can replace your questions with Himself. When that happens, the unanswered questions don’t seem all that critical.

Rest assured, God’s got this whether you understand it or not.