We don’t know the name of Jephthah’s daughter, but we do lament what happened to her, all the while applauding the honorable way she accepted her fate, showing her faith and confidence in God in the process. Here’s her brief story: When the elders of Gilead ask Jephthah to lead them into battle against their … Continue reading Women in the Bible: Jephthah’s Daughter →
Do God’s Instructions to the King of Judah Apply to Us Today? It’s dark times indeed for God’s people. The prophet Jeremiah is his mouthpiece to speak truth. God sends Jeremiah to the king of Judah with a message. This message begins with some commands and ends with a promise for obeying and a threat … Continue reading Do What Is Just and Right →
Though an entire book was written about his prayer, we actually know little about Jabez. The Bible only mentions him in two obscure verses, buried among a lengthy genealogy. We know even less about the mother of Jabez, not even her name. We do know his birth is difficult, and the name she gives him … Continue reading Women in the Bible: The Mother of Jabez →
Even If We Don’t Understand Why God Tells Us to Do Something We Should Do It Anyway After giving Jeremiah a stinging message to tell the people, God gives a personal message to his prophet. He says, “You are not to pray for these people.” He says don’t plead for them or make a petition … Continue reading Will God Ever Tell Us Not to Pray? →
Deborah’s story is in the book of Judges. Though they call her a judge, she is primarily a prophetess, a person who hears from God. She is notable as the only female judge listed in the book of Judges. Deborah receives a message from God for Barak. Through her, God commands Barak to raise an … Continue reading Women in the Bible: Deborah →
When God tells us to do something he has a reason and we should obey After Joshua leads the people of Israel into the Promised Land and takes control of it, he divides the territory among the tribes. Though they have conquered enough of the area to occupy it, remnants of other people, such as … Continue reading Disobedience Can Have Long-Term Consequences →
Rahab is a prostitute who two spies stay with when they scope out Jericho. We don’t know if they seek her for her services or merely want to get out of public view. When the king of Jericho commands Rahab to turn the men over to him, she commits treason. She hides the men and … Continue reading Women in the Bible: Rahab →
Punishment May Await Us If We Fail to Listen to God Isaiah wraps up his lengthy prophecy talking about judgment. He prophesies that God has destined the people for death. That they will be slaughtered. Why would a loving God want to kill his people? Through the mouth of Isaiah, God explains why. He says … Continue reading When God Calls Do We Answer? When He Speaks Do We Listen? →
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Ruth is a widow and foreigner who remains faithful to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth leaves her family to follow Naomi to Israel. The reason for her loyalty to her mother-in-law is a mystery, since Naomi is a bitter woman at this time. However, Ruth also expresses a devotion to God. When they return, Ruth goes … Continue reading Women in the Bible: Ruth →
God Promises to Go Before His People and Be Their Rear Guard In Isaiah’s lengthy prophecy, he tells God’s people in Jerusalem that they need to leave. However, they don’t need to leave in haste. This is because God will go before them and he will take up the rear. That means, God will pave … Continue reading Ask God to Go with Us →
Eve (along with her husband, Adam), is a well-known biblical figure. I’m surprised she’s only mentioned by name four times in the Bible, twice in Genesis and twice in the New Testament. I’ve never understood why Eve bears the heaviest criticism for disobeying God. Adam is likewise culpable, and he could have—and should have—put a … Continue reading Women in the Bible: Eve →
Hezekiah and Moses Plead with God for a Different Outcome In Isaiah we read about King Hezekiah. The king is sick, and Isaiah comes to him with a dire message from God. Through Isaiah, God tells Hezekiah to put his affairs in order because his illness is fatal. Death looms. Though few of us would … Continue reading Can We Cause God To Change His Mind? →
Anna is widowed after only seven years of marriage. A devout woman, she dedicates her life to God, spending as much time as possible in the temple fasting, praying, and worshiping him. Anna is at least eighty-four years old when Mary and Joseph show up to consecrate Jesus. First, she recognizes him as the savior … Continue reading Women in the Bible: Anna →
God Wants Us to Celebrate Him and What He’s Done for Us As Isaiah moves forward in his sweeping prophecy, he devotes a section to the city of Tyre. Tyre is a city of prominence, a center of trade and commerce. God doesn’t like their self-sufficiency and that they take pride in what they have … Continue reading God Brings Low the Pride of the Arrogant →
Childless, Elizabeth and husband Zechariah are getting old; their chance for kids is slim. Still they pray for the improbable. Despite not receiving what they yearn for, their faith remains strong. They are a righteous couple who honor God. One day at work, an angel shows up and tells Zechariah that he and his barren … Continue reading Women in the Bible: Elizabeth →
Pursue Justice for the Oppressed, Widows, and Orphans A short passage in the book of Isaiah warns against those who make unjust laws to deprive the marginalized of their rights. Isaiah targets the lawmakers. In doing so, he seeks to protect the oppressed, widows, and orphans. He calls us to pursue justice. But this isn’t … Continue reading Isaiah Issues a Call to Pursue Justice →
Mary Receives Shocking News An angel visits Mary, a teenage girl engaged to be married. The angel celebrates her as one highly favored by God. Perplexed, she wonders about the angel’s shocking greeting. Then he further stuns her by saying she will become pregnant, and her child will save her people. “How,” Mary asks? “I’m … Continue reading Women in the Bible: The Virgin Mary →
God Cares for the Lesser Things of His Creation and We Are So Much More In one of Asaph’s Psalms he exalts God for his power, beauty, and perfection. In doing so Asaph envisions what God might say to his people, talking about what is important and what isn’t. God has no need for our … Continue reading If God Cares for Every Bird, How Much More Will He Care for Us? →
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We Discover Parallels Between Deuteronomy and Jesus’s Death The book of Deuteronomy, which most people skip and the rest of us skim, does contain interesting passages for us to consider. In one short section, God addresses capital punishment. Though the idea of executing people for their offenses may offend our sensibilities, don’t dismiss this passage. … Continue reading Deuteronomy Hints at the Horror of Jesus’s Sacrifice →
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There’s Nothing We Need to Do to Earn God’s Love In the book of Deuteronomy, a book of the Bible that most people skip, God explains his relationship to his people. He starts by saying that he didn’t choose them because of their numbers or greatness as a nation. In fact, they started out as … Continue reading God Loves Us and Keeps His Promises →
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