A Fresh Start (1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 8)

The Lord said to [Solomon]: “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever.  My eyes and my heart will always be there.” (1 Kings 9:3) Sometimes it's important to get a fresh start in life.  The finishing of the Temple and the kingship of Solomon was a time for a fresh start ... [Continue Reading]

Death Bed Advice (1 Kings 1-2)

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.  “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said.  “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses.” (1 Kings 2:1-3a) A person's final words are ... [Continue Reading]

A Tale of Two Stories (2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20)

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”  Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin.  You are not going to die.  But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” (2 Samuel 12:13-14) Sin is serious, and it carries with it enormous consequences.  A part of the human condition, however, is that ... [Continue Reading]

The Manipulation Trap (1 Samuel 27-29)

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.” (1 Samuel 28:8) When things don't go the way we want in life, it's tempting to try and manipulate our way into a different outcome.  Such was the case with Saul as he visited a witch in order to ... [Continue Reading]

On Receiving Advice (1 Samuel 24-26)

The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’”  Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. (1 Samuel 24:4) Not all advice is good advice.  In fact, we've all had times when we've received bad advice and suffered as a result of it.  So how do you know ... [Continue Reading]

Doing the Right Thing (1 Samuel 18-20)

Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman!  Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you?” (1 Samuel 20:30) There are times when it's convenient and easy to do the right thing; in those moments, you'd be a fool not to do what's right.  And then ... [Continue Reading]

On the Throne (1 Samuel 7-9)

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.  And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. (1 Samuel 8:6-7) God allows us to have things that are outside of His plans for our lives.  Though He's omnipotent, He allows ... [Continue Reading]

Though None Goes With Me… (Joshua 11, 14:6-15)

I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. (Joshua 14:7-8) There's something special about a person who is ... [Continue Reading]

Making Good Decisions (Joshua 9-10)

The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.  Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath. (Joshua 9:14-15) Not all wisdom is created equal.  There is a difference between wisdom that comes from man and wisdom that comes from God.  One of the dangers of gaining wisdom is ... [Continue Reading]

Being Near to God (Exodus 32-33)

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here." (Exodus 33:15) The point at which God was not going to move forward with Moses and the Israelites into the Promised Land was the point at which Moses no longer wanted to move forward.  The sins of the Israelites were huge: they had fashioned a false god out of gold, and the Lord ... [Continue Reading]