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]

Daniel’s Secret (Daniel 10-12)

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel.  Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” (Daniel 10:12) Why is it that Daniel's prayers were heard?  Why was he such an effective leader for the people of Israel?  How did he have so much power to ... [Continue Reading]

What it Means to be Facedown (Ezekiel 42-44)

[The priests] are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common... (Ezekiel 44:23) To be facedown is an act of submission.  It communicates a sense of reverence for the one to whom you're bowing.  From God's perspective, the ultimate one to whom we should be in submission is Him.  We may want to submit ourselves to other people and things, but those ... [Continue Reading]

The Watchman (Ezekiel 33-35)

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes ... [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]

Restore Us (Lamentations 4-5)

Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old... (Lamentations 5:21) Lamentations reveals the suffering hearts of the Israelites.  Whereas it's true that they had been warned for many centuries about their wandering away from God, and the punishment that they faced they largely brought upon themselves, it's still impossible to read of their ... [Continue Reading]

Know Thyself (Lamentations 1-3)

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40) When is the last time you examined your ways to see if they are in line with God's ways?  I find that living in a sinful world means that my heart is prone to wander.  There are so many little "g" gods that demand my allegiance, and it's easy to give into them before I even realize ... [Continue Reading]

Ready to Hear (Jeremiah 30-31, 33)

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3) God does not hide Himself from those who are truly seeking Him.  These words in Jeremiah testify that God is ready to speak when we are ready to hear.  One of the reasons why we don't always hear from God is that we're not really paying attention. To some ... [Continue Reading]

More than Humility (2 Chronicles 32-33)

And when [Manasseh] prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom.  Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. (2 Chronicles 33:13) Throughout the Old Testament the lives of many kings are recounted for us, and the level of their humility plays a role in how well each king is remembered. ... [Continue Reading]

Lessons from Child’s Play (Isaiah 64-66)

This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.  Where is the house you will build for me?  Where will my resting place be?  Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD.  “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. (Isaiah ... [Continue Reading]