Showing posts from August, 2018

The Blessings of Wisdom

Proverbs 9:1-6 Of the three “wisdom” books, Proverbs probably is the one which we most associate with wisdom. (Some of you may not have realized that Ecclesiastes and Job also are “wisdom” books.) In it are contained the sayings of what will lead to wisdom, and a person who lives by the words in them will be wise. Of course, the book does not contain just two-line proverbs, but there are poems as well as something like stories. That is what we find here as we learn about Wisdom personified. Wisdom’s story actually is a bit longer than these few verses, but here is the most succinct summation of who Wisdom is. She is one who has built her house, and it is perfect as the “seven pillars” indicate (9:1). In essence, Wisdom is secure. She also has done her duties and prepared a table for guests (9:2). In essence, Wisdom is righteous and hospitable. Finally, she sends out her call from her place of prominence (9:3). In essence, Wisdom is valuable and open to all. In these short ver

To Live or To Die?

1 Kings 19:4-8 This passage is a little startling because we do not expect prophets to act like this. Here is Elijah giving up and asking to die because he feels worthless. It is even more surprising considering what has just happened (1 Kings 18). Elijah just had the showdown with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. He showed the people who is the true God, he destroyed the prophets of the false god, and then he announced the sending of rain which was three years in the making. What power! What goodness! Why does he now feel that it would be best for him to curl up and die? Is this how prophets act? In our Wednesday night class this week, we encountered another prophet of God (if you will) who also faced death. In Philippians 1, Paul seems to be facing some sort of dilemma. Does he live or does he give into death? It is a tough choice for Paul because he knows that dying means going to be with Christ in heaven; but living means advancing the Gospel even more and encouraging

That We May Know the Lord

Exodus 16:1-15 As you know, Beth and I are in the midst of raising our first child, and being in this position invites an endless wave of advice. Some of the advice is good, and some of it does not align with what we want to do as parents. That is fine because parents are different and children are different, there is more than one way to raise a child, and who knows what will be useful and what will not. Well, as I read this passage, I was reminded of a particular kind of advice which takes different forms: Do not give into your children when they whine, or it will just teach them that they can get what they want by whining. It is a fair bit of advice, and one which we try to use in different ways. It is curious that God does not seem to know this trick. Here the Israelites are in the wilderness, just having finished celebrating God’s deliverance of them from Egypt, and they start complaining that things were better in Egypt. Back there, they could eat as much as they wanted w