Archives For prophets

HOPE

I confess.

Of all the weeks of The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge during Lent this proved the most difficult to me. When reading Lamentations felt like a breath of fresh air, I knew I was in trouble. [Tweet this]

To put it in running terms, I felt like I hit the wall—that moment when you’re weary, tired, and don’t think you can take another step. This week’s reading included Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel (along with Lamentations)—all of which are long, thick, dense books packed with mysterious prophetic imagery and references.

If Leviticus and Numbers felt like plodding, Jeremiah and Ezekiel felt like slogging. Heavy. Cumbersome. Tedious.

Yet I kept catching glimpses of God’s heart. Continue Reading...

talk smack

Pulling into a church parking lot, I often find myself groaning at the bold, brazen, and boisterous declarations people make on the back of their cars.

There’s always the classic, “My child is an honor student” and the retort, “Your honor student sells bumper stickers!”

But I’m amazed when Christians really get into it. Like the Jesus fish stomping Darwin. Or the “God is not a Democrat” and “God is not a Republican” that gain popularity every four years. Or a church in Denver whose bumper stickers read, “My church can kick your church’s a–!”

Why do churchgoers place hard-to-peel-off statements on the back of their vehicles?

Because Christians love to talk smack!

Now there are a few arguably good reasons to talk smack if you’re a Christian: Continue Reading...

 

PROPHETIC LITERATURE

 

Up next in our 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge for Lent are the prophets.

Pause for a moment and place yourself in ancient Israelite sandals.

Imagine what would run through your mind as you hear prophets spout off messages of doom and gloom or the promise of a boatload of blessings?

I imagine that those listening to Biblical prophets probably struggled to wrap their heads and hearts around the imagery-filled messages. On the occasions when the prophet’s message was clear and concise, the words weren’t always what the people wanted to hear.

Yet God selected these particular prophets to remind Israel of the covenant they made with Him as His people. The prophets delivered news of abundant blessings, consequences, or great things yet to come—like the promise of Christ.

As you read this upcoming week’s selection, you may want to mark up passages that you want to come back to later. When you have more time, you’ll want to pick up a Bible dictionary or commentary from time to time to decipher confusing imagery and hard-to-pronounce words.

Here are five things to remember as you dive into the Major and Minor Prophets: Continue Reading...

SIMPLE OBEDIENCEWe’re moving forward in being Wonderstruck by Scripture in The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge. As I’ve been reading this week, I’ve been wonderstruck by the number of cray, cray, or crazytown stories in the Bible. [Tweet this] I’ve read them before, but every so often I find myself awestruck again. Did you notice any? I was taken back again by a few of these:

In 2 Samuel 20 where Joab gets his pirate on and punctures Amasa with a sword. Guts spill to the ground. Double ew!

Or 2 Samuel 24, where God feels the pain of the terror of the 70,000 people who die from an epidemic and tells the angel, “Enough’s enough! Pull back!”

Or that trickster holy man in 1 Kings 13.

Or Zarephath, the owner of the original Biscuitville (1 Kings 16).

Or that crazy gourd story (2 Kings 4). Continue Reading...