God's dependability

God is for us.

God is for us.

Esther 9

I wonder about the King of Persia. He was king of a heathen land, with a large number of Jewish exiles living in his territory. I’m not sure what gods (or how many) he worshiped, but it’s safe to say that he did not worship the God of Israel. Yet, when the plot of Haman was uncovered, he was willing to stick his neck out for this race of people who were foreigners in his land:

God—now you see Him; now you don't.

God—now you see Him; now you don't.

Esther 2

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. —Albert Einstein

I recently saw that quote on a church’s outdoor marquee, and I must say that I agree. In fact, I don’t even believe in coincidences anymore. I think all the details of our lives—even the nitty gritty ones—are being woven and spun by God into this grand tapestry. I don’t think He leaves anything to chance. Does He leave things to choice? Yes. But to chance? No. At least I don’t think so.

God dissolves fear.

God dissolves fear.

Nehemiah 4

Well, some people just didn’t want that Jerusalem wall rebuilt! "When Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry." (vs 7) First, they had tried to intimidate the people with insults and threats. When that didn’t stop the work, they plotted to attack the people who were rebuilding the wall.

God gets His hands dirty.

God gets His hands dirty.

Nehemiah 2

This chapter, for me, held another stunning example of what God is like, as observed in the actions of His ambassador Nehemiah. After hearing about the state of things in Jerusalem, Nehemiah had prayed to God that restoration would come to that great Israelite city. He determined that, at some time, he would have the opportunity to speak to the king about what was on his heart.

God has a reputation.

God has a reputation.

Ezra 8

Have you ever given much thought to God’s reputation? I guess if you asked ten different people what they thought of God, you would probably get ten different answers. But the fact that there are so many atheists in the world might suggest that, with some, God’s reputation isn’t a very good one. Many would rather believe that there is no God as opposed to believing in the kind of God they’ve been introduced to by some Christians. Makes me think of that bumper sticker I see from time to time: Please, Lord, save me from your followers!

God is a safe place.

God is a safe place.

2 Chronicles 22

And once again, we find ourselves back to a familiar story from the time of the kings in Israel: "When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah. But Jehosheba... took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom... [Jehosheba] hid the child from Athaliah so she could not kill him. He remained hidden with them at the temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land." (vs 10-12)

God knows what to do.

God knows what to do.

2 Chronicles 20

This chapter contains what has to be one of the most moving expressions of trust in God to be found in the Bible, contained in the middle of Jehoshaphat’s prayer: "But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you [God] would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." (vs 10-12)

God helps those who seek Him.

God helps those who seek Him.

2 Chronicles 16

I’m sure you’ve heard this famous saying: God helps those who help themselves. A popular idea, but is it true? King Asa’s experience in 2 Chronicles 16 would seem to contradict the idea. For what was Asa doing, but helping himself? "In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah. Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 'Let there be a treaty between me and you,' he said, 'as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.'" (vs 1-3)

God sees and hears us.

God sees and hears us.

2 Chronicles 7

God sees you. God hears you. Have you ever found those things hard to believe? Has it ever felt like you were alone and abandoned instead? Like no matter how much you were hurting or how hard you were crying out, there was just nobody "up there" to listen to you? 2 Chronicles 7 would like you to know that those feelings aren’t reality.

God reigns above and beyond the kingdoms of this world.

God reigns above and beyond the kingdoms of this world.

1 Chronicles 9

This was one of those days when I didn’t get much beyond the first verse of the chapter (even though I kept reading until the end). "All Israel was listed in the genealogies recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. They were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness." (vs 1)

God helps those who call on Him.

God helps those who call on Him.

1 Chronicles 5

Well, after reading today’s blog, you may think, Duh! However, I’ve never been one to shy away from the obvious, especially since it’s the small, obvious things that we sometimes tend to overlook. So, from time to time, it’s good to stop for a moment and recognize the little things that sit in front of our noses all the time.

God bears the consequences of our sin.

God bears the consequences of our sin.

2 Kings 25

Ah, so the residents of Judah are finally carried off into Babylon, and Jerusalem is destroyed. How depressing. Reading this chapter, I felt especially bad for Zedekiah, who watched his sons being killed before his eyes were plucked out. That would be an awful image to have to remember for the rest of your life. It’s just another stark reminder of the evil darkness we face when we try to live life without God.

God knows everything.

God knows everything.

2 Kings 23

One of the things about God that confounds me is how He can know the future yet leave us free to make choices. This is a subject I’ve gone back and forth on in the past, and I still don’t feel "settled" into a position (and I may never). On the one hand, it is very clear that God knows specific details about the future, including people and events. On the other hand, the Bible is also clear that God gives us freedom to make choices, and I sympathize with people who argue that if a choice is made freely, how can it be known ahead of time?

God delivers the impossible.

God delivers the impossible.

2 Kings 19

Well, this is certainly a drama-filled chapter in the Bible! Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, has gone around the region, conquering everyone and everything in sight (including Israel!), and now, he was sitting on Jerusalem’s doorstep with 185,000 soldiers, ready to capture Judah as well.

God's promises stand up to evil.

God's promises stand up to evil.

2 Kings 11

After King Ahaziah of Judah was killed, his mother Athaliah went nuts: "When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family." (vs 1) Can you imagine this? A grandmother setting out to kill all of her grandchildren? The children of Ahaziah were heirs to the throne, but apparently, Athaliah decided that she should sit on the throne. And she did. She became the only queen of Judah.

God changes fortunes in a heartbeat.

God changes fortunes in a heartbeat.

2 Kings 7

A few years ago, our water heater unexpectedly broke, and after some consultation with a plumber, we realized that we would not only have to get a new water heater, but a water softener as well. I just hate it when that happens! If you don’t have money in savings, unexpected expenses like that can really get you down.

God is a deliverer.

God is a deliverer.

2 Kings 3

After the death of King Ahab, Mesha king of Moab decided to rebel against Israel. So Jehoram (the new king of Israel), Jehoshaphat (king of Judah), and the king of Edom set out to attack Moab and put down the rebellion. On the way to battle, they ran into quite a problem: "After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them." (vs 9)

God is loyal.

God is loyal.

2 SAMUEL 17

Sometimes it’s a lot easier to draw conclusions about God by contrasting Him with what we are (or what we are not). That was the case with this chapter of 2 Samuel. After David fled Jerusalem, Absalom was seeking some advice on what to do next. His top advisor told him that he should go after David and kill him while he was at his weakest. Then—apparently—all the people of Israel would rally around Absalom as king.

Obscurity {ex1:8}

exodus-remember-obscurity-poem.png

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher.
There is nothing new under the sun.
Generations come and generations go,
but nothing ever changes.
We don't remember what happened in the past,
and in future generations,
no one will remember what we are doing now.
—from Ecclesiastes 1

No wonder the Teacher
took such a dim view
of human accomplishment.

Back-breaking labor.
Hours of study.
/blood/

Tragedy absorbed.
Ingenious invention.
/sweat/

Disaster averted.
Strategy planned.
/tears/

Battles lost and won
and lost again.

If a man can
single-handedly
deliver an entire nation
from destruction
and be forgotten
within a
single
generation,
there is no such thing
as a lasting achievement
among the peers
you try so hard
to impress.

Joseph would have fallen
into eternal obscurity
if his name hadn't been
remembered by
the only One
who doesn't
come and go,
the only One not
under the sun.