Listen Up (Judges 14-15)

His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people?  Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”  But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me.  She’s the right one for me.”  (Judges 14:3) When I was young I always felt that my parents didn't really know what they were talking about.  After all, ... [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]

Picking Teams (Joshua 5-6)

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”  “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” (Joshua 5:13-14) Do you remember picking teams in elementary school?  There was really only one place ... [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]

The Danger of Frustration (Numbers 20-21, Psalm 90)

He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” (Numbers 20:10) Every person has a breaking point.  Regardless of who you are or how patient you seem, there's someone in your life who is capable of pushing you so far that you finally lose it.  Moses experienced that ... [Continue Reading]

Dead End (Genesis 35, 37)

All [Jacob's] sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted.  “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son [Joseph] in the grave.”  So his father wept for him. (Genesis 37:35) There comes a point in time when you realize that the decision you made is really just a dead end.  It seemed like a good idea in the beginning, but over ... [Continue Reading]

True Wisdom (Job 24-28)

“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28b) Do you search for wisdom?  There are those who spend their entire lives chasing after it and striving to find out what it truly means to be wise.  Three times in the Old Testament we are told from whence it comes: true wisdom both fears the Lord and shuns evil. To fear the Lord ... [Continue Reading]

The Other Side of a Story (Job 14-16)

I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you.  But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief. (Job 16:4-5) We live in a culture that applauds the armchair critics.  Everyone has a platform to speak his or her mind on the issues of the day without fear, behind the ... [Continue Reading]

When Less is More (Job 10-13)

If only you would be altogether silent!  For you, that would be wisdom. (Job 13:5) One of the prayers that I have regularly prayed over the last decade or so has been a prayer for wisdom.  I want to make wise choices, I want to say wise things, and I want to live my life wisely.  The thing about wisdom, though, is that it knows when to keep silent. The fool blathers on ... [Continue Reading]