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]

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]

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]

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]

Losing What Isn’t Yours (1 Kings 12-14)

Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people.  Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.  This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth. (1 Kings 13:33-34) Christian leadership is ... [Continue Reading]

Careful What You Count (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21-22)

David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.  Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” (2 Samuel 24) There are some things that are very valuable to count.  For instance, I was leading a group of students on a trip to Chicago ... [Continue Reading]

Persevering Against All Odds (2 Samuel 22-23)

Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite.  As one of the three mighty men, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle.  Then the men of Israel retreated, but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword.  The Lord brought about a great victory that day.  The troops ... [Continue Reading]

The Pain of Loss (2 Samuel 19-21)

Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.”  And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, “The king is grieving for his son.”  The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle.  The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son ... [Continue Reading]

Finding the Truth (2 Samuel 16-18)

Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?  Let me go over and cut off his head.” (2 Samuel 16:9) When David was confronted by the curses of Shimei he had a couple of choices.  One option was to have his mighty warriors destroy Shimei right there on the spot.  Another option was to listen to Shimei's words and to take ... [Continue Reading]

Fighting to Be King (2 Samuel 13-15)

Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city.  If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.  But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.” (2 Samuel 15:25-26) David never fought to be king.  That was true when Saul was ... [Continue Reading]