The unblushing and vivid descriptions of romantic desire and sexuality may unsettle readers of the Song of Solomon (also known as the Song of Songs). The language and imagery and subject matter of this book of divinely inspired poetry are not what most of us expect to encounter when we approach the Word of God.
For “the Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes, life under the sun is confusing and chaotic, yet mercilessly predictable. Some things make no sense; sometimes bad things happen to those who are righteous, and sometimes the wicked prosper. Sudden and shocking tragedy can strike at any moment. Someone can work his whole life just for
What is the key to success in this life? What does it mean to be wise? The book of Proverbs provides a clear and resounding answer that is perhaps summed up well by Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. in all your ways
The book of Psalms, the songbook of God’s people, bursts with strong emotions directed toward the Lord of all creation. Joy, lament, hope, desire, desperation, mourning, wonder, and a wide range of human attitudes and experiences in relation to God are on display. One of the central themes in the Psalms, though, is the desire
When sorrow strikes and tragedy occurs, the common response of many sufferers is to point out the seeming absence of God. If he was here, this never would have happened. If he had not forsaken me, surely this trial would not be pressing in on me. If only God was present! Where are you, Lord?
After many years of suffering and darkness in exile for God’s people in Babylon, hope springs anew in the book of Ezra. Amazingly, the Lord stirs up the pagan king Cyrus to allow a group of the exiled Jews to return home to Jerusalem and rebuild the holy temple of God. The Lord’s faithfulness is
What happens when the worship of the Lord is neglected? What becomes of a nation when Kings abuse their power to build self-exalting empires? What is the fate of a people who live in a land where truth is a scare commodity? These are some of the key questions addressed in 2 Chronicles as the
God is here. Right now and in every moment and in every place, the Lord of all ispresent. No one is outside of his reach or his sight. Nothing happens apart from his knowledgeand permissive will. God is here. Not only is present in all places in a general sense, his peoplehave the privilege of
It has often been noted that we tend to become like what we admire. We imitate what wedeem to be valuable and worthwhile; it’s only natural. And the object of our admiration tends tobe what we most often set before our eyes. What we choose to gaze upon, to behold, has greatinfluence on what and
Faith can be an unsteady endeavor. For most of us, our faith and our faithfulnessunfortunately ebbs and flows. Spiritual triumphs are followed by defeat. Trust in the Lord goesup and down. Sometimes, we feel a fire in our bones to be all that God wants us to be, but othertimes the Lord feels totally distant.
King David is one of the most interesting and exciting people in all of Scripture. His story is filled with intrigue, betrayal, great conquests, bitter sorrow, intense joy, and deep faith in God. He was a shepherd boy, a musician, a brother, a friend, a servant, a warrior, and a king. More space is given
Weekly Thought: Encouragement from Every Book 1 Samuel: Little in Your Own Eyes—A Different Kind of Pride
Surely, God hates arrogant narcissism and self-exalting pride. Those who lift themselves up can expect to be cut down by God. Those who think they can rely on their own power will be shown to be weak. Those who glorify themselves will be mired in shame. We see this pattern evident in the story of
It is an unsettling and somewhat disturbing reality to realize that most of us right now will not be remembered by anyone on Earth in a hundred years from now. We will likely all fade away from memories and into the foggy void of history as new generations rise and forget the distant ancestors of
Expect the unexpected. This is fair advice for those seeking to know and understand the God of Israel. Although unchanging and utterly faithful, this God surprises at every moment. Even in his consistent patterns of working, he baffles and undermines the wisdom of earthly eyes and minds at every turn.The strange ways and workings of
Do the circumstances of your life ever loom over you so much that you feel like you are facing insurmountable obstacles? The enemy before you is too great, and the wall to climb is too high. It’s at times like these that we are often reminded of our need for God because we know and
Out of the thousands of mundane, seemingly insignificant choices that I make each day, how many of those choices does God care about? Is the majestic Lord of the universe, who laid the foundation of the earth and is the master of all the galaxies and unknown worlds far beyond our reach, really concerned with
The past is painful. Mistakes were made there, regrets multiply, and consequences cast a cruel shadow. Terrible choices haunt us and invade our memories. The curse of our own failures and sins hangs like a dark cloud. How could I have caused so much pain? How could I have rejected God in that way? As
What were you made for? For what purpose did God craft your ears? For what reason did He bless you with hands? Why did He grant you feet to walk with? Humanity was designed with a purpose; we were made to be images of God, representing Him as we ruled over creation and submitted to
The only thing certain about this past year is that every few days (if not more often), we are all likely to hear the phrase, “these uncertain times.” We are all acutely aware that we do not know what is coming next. Each day this year has seemingly provided us with surprises and greater mystery
Note: The idea is to provide a brief weekly encouragement, and each week I’ll be trying to pull an encouraging and relevant thought from a different book of the Bible. This week we start with Genesis, next week will be Exodus, and so on.It’s the season for talk of plans, promises, and freedoms. Every four