Mourning into Dancing (2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36)

As the Lord had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord. (2 Kings 24:13) There are sad moments in the lives of God's people.  Perhaps one of the saddest moments for Israel was the destruction of the Temple that Solomon ... [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]

At the Heart (Jeremiah 4-6)

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts... (Jeremiah 4:4a) The heart is a common topic on these daily devotionals, and I hate to address it again.  However, it plays such a prominent theme in these three chapters that I would be remiss to ignore it.  There is a tendency even within contemporary Christianity to believe that God desires "good works" from ... [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]

Being Clay (Isaiah 28-30)

Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”?  Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”? (Isaiah 29:16b) When I was in college, a friend of mine informed me that students were allowed to visit the art department in the evening and use potting wheels and clay.  I had very little prior experience "throwing clay," as it's called, so I ... [Continue Reading]

When God Can’t be Found (Hosea 5-8)

When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. (Hosea 5:6) Whereas a person may believe that it's possible to move so far away from God that, when he or she finally does seek Him, He isn't to be found, such a belief simply isn't true.  Those who desire to truly know God can find Him when they pursue ... [Continue Reading]

If Not To God, To Whom? (Isaiah 10)

What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar?  To whom will you run for help?  Where will you leave your riches? (Isaiah 10:3) It's tempting sometimes to believe that we have a lot of say in what goes on in our lives and in the world.  While we do have some level of freedom in our lives, Isaiah reminds us that God is ultimately the One in ... [Continue Reading]

Be Careful, Keep Calm, Don’t Be Afraid (Isaiah 7-8)

Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid.’ (Isaiah 7:4a) The phrase, "Keep Calm and Carry On" dates back further than World War II.  The story goes that the British government developed a number of posters to be placed in public areas to improve the morale of its people.  Though more than 2.5 million posters were printed, they were never circulated publicly. ... [Continue Reading]

Listen Up (2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 24)

Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen. (2 Chronicles 24:19) When I was in elementary school my brothers and I loved playing in the creek near our house.  I remember one snow day when we adventured out, and I really wanted to walk on the ice.  My older and wiser brothers ... [Continue Reading]

Managing Your Lion (2 Kings 9-11)

So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel.  However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. (2 Kings 10:28-29) Have you ever seen a lion on a leash?  A couple of years ago I had the privilege of visiting the Greenville Zoo in Greenville, South Carolina, and one of ... [Continue Reading]