Beauty from Ashes (1 Samuel 1-3)

Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.  This went on year after year.  Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. (1 Samuel 1:6-7) It seems that brokenness is often a character trait of those who are going to be used by God.  Why?  Perhaps it's because ... [Continue Reading]

One Generation (Judges 1-2)

After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10) All it takes is one generation to make a difference.  One generation has the power to be a force of positive change, and it also has the power to drive a nation to its knees. There was a generation in ... [Continue Reading]

Do Yourself a Favor (Deuteronomy 9-10)

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13) There are two ways of looking at God's commands.  From one ... [Continue Reading]

Value Lies in the Application (Deuteronomy 5-6)

So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.  Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. (Deuteronomy 5:32-33) Have you ever noticed that people don't buy cans of paint, open them up, and just ... [Continue Reading]

Limited Vision (Genesis 41-42)

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.  You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders.  Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” (Genesis 41:39-40) When life gets the best of us, it's easy to think that we'll never get out of the depths ... [Continue Reading]

God Knows and Cares (Genesis 27-29)

When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. (Genesis 29:31) There are moments in time when God feels conspicuously absent, aren't there?  In Leah's case, she was forced into marriage in the place of her sister - the desire of her husband Jacob's heart.  Her father, Laban, essentially used her as a bargaining tool ... [Continue Reading]