Jonah 1:1-17: The God Hidden within Creation

“The Word of the Lord,” coming from God Himself, changes what a person receives, from the normal into the supernatural.  No longer are words only sound waves.  For when something from eternal realms comes to another, they transform the event.  The Almighty is speaking in His Word, which means He is also acting and doing.  […]

Amos 9:11-15: The Real Celebration

The shout goes out, “The party’s over!”  The last call for alcohol is now past, and the barkeep is locking the door.  Perhaps, the fat lady is concluding her song.  Soon, the closing curtain descends, covering the stage.  Well, people are leaving, and you must wake up in a few hours for work.  So, one […]

Luke 2:41-52: Where is Jesus?

A fascinating account!  The only reliable report of Jesus from the time He returned from Egypt until almost three decades later, when He began His public ministry.  To Jerusalem, His family travels for the Passover—the annual commemoration of Israel’s liberation from death and Egyptian bondage by the blood of a lamb (Exodus 12).  Through this, […]

Luke 2:33-40: A Sword Will Pierce Your Soul, O Mary

A maiden mother brings God, pulsing with blood and moving with muscle, into this world.  From her womb, the Lord formed for Himself a human frame.  More than any other in all human history, God united to her in a way like no other.  So, if anyone deserved preferential treatment from God, Mary should be […]

Exodus 40:17-21,34-38; John 1:14: Christmas Day

To free His people from slavery, God gives them His Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Every year after, so these reclaimed of God don’t forget, He tells them to celebrate these rituals for as long as they are His people.  After their rescue, after the Red Sea, He teaches them more on worship.  […]

Luke 2:1-20: Christmas Eve

With all the pandemonium and turmoil, no worse time can come for a holy birth.  Think of the upheaval a census will cause throughout the Roman world.  Every person not living in his ancestral town now needs to pack up and move, no matter the distance.  Many are upset and outraged, for Rome doesn’t cover […]

The Surprises in Jesus’ Genealogy: Ruth

Now, we reach the midpoint of the five women Matthew includes in Jesus’ ancestry.  The first, Tamar, lived during the period of the patriarchs.  The second, Rahab, in the time when Israel reconquered their land.  The third, Ruth, lived when the judges ruled.  The genealogy mentions her in this way, “Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth” […]

Advent Series: The Surprises in Jesus’ Genealogy: Rahab

Like Tamar last week, the second woman in Matthew’s ancestry of Jesus will also raise some eyebrows.  Here is how Matthew introduces her, “Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab” (Matthew 1:5).  For us, her story begins during a reconnaissance mission.  The exodus of Israel is now 40 years past, and they are trying the reclaim their […]

Advent Series: The Surprises in Jesus’ Genealogy: Tamar

An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.  From Abraham to David: Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers, Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar.  So read the first three verses of Matthew’s Gospel. The statement about Tamar is straightforward enough.  […]

Psalm 103: Thanksgiving

My soul, bless the Lord; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.  Praise the Lord and do not forget all His benefits.  Oh, if only, if every wish of my heart, bone, and being, thought and breath, contained the strength to esteem our Lord! How impossible!  For when I tell my being not to […]