Me Before You (Haggai)

Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” (Haggai 1:3-4) I'll never forget one of the first years when I was a homeowner.  Halloween came, and I was really excited to have trick-or-treaters come to the house.  I was not, however, prepared for the woman ... [Continue Reading]

It’s His Mercy (Daniel 7-9)

We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. (Daniel 9:18) We don't approach God because we are good enough to deserve His attention.  We don't list our good deeds for Him, as if our deeds are noteworthy in His eyes.  We don't stand in front of Him because we've earned anything, for all of our righteousness is simply rags.  No, ... [Continue Reading]

The Writing’s On the Wall (Daniel 4-6)

The story of King Belshazzar in Daniel 5 is, in my mind, one of the funniest stories of the Old Testament.  Belshazzar (King Nebuchadnezzar's son) hosted a party with his lords, his wives, and his concubines.  Someone at the party had the great idea of drinking from the "golden vessels" from the temple in Jerusalem, so Belshazzar sent for them and used them in his ... [Continue Reading]

Fresh Starts (Ezekiel 40-41)

He brought me to the portico of the temple... (Ezekiel 40:48a) A few days ago a woman came into my office seeking counsel.  Without going into the details of the story, it was clear that she was facing consequences from choices that she had made over time.  Those consequences were weighing her down, and it was hard for her to believe that God could forgive her.  I was so ... [Continue Reading]

Jealous for His Name (Ezekiel 38-39)

I will be zealous for my holy name. (Ezekiel 39:25b) It should not come as any surprise to us that God might be zealous (or "jealous," as other translations read) for His holy name.  After all, there is none greater than God.  There is no one stronger, no one more powerful, no one more knowledgable, beneficent, or full of love.  God is matchless, and none compares to Him. ... [Continue Reading]

Just When You Thought All Hope Was Lost… (Ezekiel 36-37)

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:5-6) There are moments in time when life feels hopeless, aren't there?  The ... [Continue Reading]

How Far is Too Far? (Ezekiel 14-16)

You adulterous wife!  You prefer strangers to your own husband!  All prostitutes receive gifts, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors.  So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors.  You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you. ... [Continue Reading]

Be Careful What You Say (Ezekiel 11-13)

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! (Ezekiel 13:3) Have you ever told someone that you "have a word from the Lord" or that "God told me to tell you this"?  I'm not saying that you should never say those things, but you must be careful in doing so.  The prophets in Ezekiel are condemned for ... [Continue Reading]

Being Found Faithful (Ezekiel 7-10)

Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” (Ezekiel 9:3b-4) God's glory is so great, so wonderful, and so pure that it far surpasses the glory of any other ... [Continue Reading]

God’s Ultimate Goal (Ezekiel 4-6)

You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke.  I the Lord have spoken. (Ezekiel 5:15) On reading these chapters from Ezekiel, a person might be tempted to believe that God is a god of retribution - one who is seeking to smite those who offend ... [Continue Reading]