As I have perused the pages of my One-Year Bible, an intriguing word keeps popping up, especially in the Psalms: checed. It is translated as “lovingkindness” in the KJV, “love” in the NIV, and “unfailing love” in the NLT. The Message translation adds another facet to the word — “dependable” and “thorough.” It struck me as I read over and over that the Lord wants us to know that his love really is never ending. Think about that for a minute. Do we humans have an understanding of love that never fails? Broken homes are often the norm in our … Continue reading Unfailing Love
Indignant. Angry. Offended. Those are words that describe the way Naaman felt when Elisha told him how to be healed of leprosy. I am captivated by his response because there is something else here, simmering beneath the surface. I love when my Bible reading sends me meandering down roads of thought I have never taken before. Often when I set out writing about these thought journeys, I do not know where they will end. Have you ever been so tormented and upset about something in your life that you can’t sort out how you really feel, much less think, about … Continue reading Pondering Naaman
Matthew 11 Jesus issued an invitation for all those who are weary and burdened to come to Him. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Weary and burdened? Check. Come to Jesus? Check. What else am I to do besides come? Take my yoke. What does that mean? The Greek word for “yoke” is zygos, and it was often used metaphorically to refer to a set of imposing laws, such as the ones the Pharisees used to rein in the people. Jesus … Continue reading Little words, big meanings!
These last chapters in the book of Numbers end on a merciful note. The Lord commanded the Israelites to establish cities of refuge for those people who have accidentally caused another person’s death. I’d always heard of the Old Testament’s “eye for an eye” mandate, but I did not realize that the closest relative of a murdered person was the one responsible for executing the murderer. If the death was an actual accident, however, the community members escort and protect the person who caused the death — but he had to stay within the city of refuge to have guaranteed … Continue reading Numbers 35-36: The Refuge
How in the world would the Israelites find their way through the desert? They had no GPS devices or satellite maps or cell phones. Moses brother-in-law, who knew the desert, was preparing to leave to go back to his family. So how will a million plus people find their way to the Promised Land? God gave them crystal clear directions, that’s how. His instructions to them were as clear as today’s stoplights. When the cloud descended on the Tabernacle, they were to stop and make camp. When the cloud became a pillar of fire and lifted up. the people broke … Continue reading Numbers 8-10: Through the Desert