God's knowledge

God helps us see the big picture.

God helps us see the big picture.

Job 3

At the beginning of this chapter, Job wished for something that many people have wished for at some point: that he had never been born. "May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, 'A boy is conceived!' That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it." (vs 3-4)

God restrains evil.

God restrains evil.

Job 2

To me, there are two very interesting things regarding evil in the first and second chapters of Job. The first one involves how Satan perceives the spread of evil in the world: he blames God. Did you notice that? Check this out from chapter one: "'Does Job fear God for nothing?' Satan replied. 'Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.'" (vs 9-11)

God works with small groups.

God works with small groups.

Ezra 1

The book of Ezra begins with the decree, made by Cyrus king of Persia in 538 B.C., that gave the Jewish exiles the right to finally return home to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple of the Lord. (Here’s an interesting side note to that story. Many scholars believe that Daniel was instrumental in stirring the heart of the king by sharing with him the prophecies in Jeremiah 25 and 29 regarding the return of the exiles from Babylon. Incidentally, these prophecies mention King Cyrus of Persia by name—even though they were written 150 years before his birth.)

God deals with us individually.

God deals with us individually.

2 Chronicles 6

Today’s thought is a simple one and uses these verses as a jumping-off place: "Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart), so that they will fear you and walk in obedience to you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors." (vs 30-31)

God understands you.

God understands you.

1 Chronicles 28

If I had ever believed in the theory of evolution, I'm pretty sure my first pregnancy would have blown that belief out of the water. As I went through that experience, week by week, I marveled at the little life unfolding in my own body. From the heart that is fully functional and begins to beat by five weeks to the whole development process, it was very hard for me to understand how people (especially doctors who know the intricacies of pregnancy) could believe that there is no design involved in human development.

God can be trusted with the details of our lives.

God can be trusted with the details of our lives.

1 Chronicles 24

In this chapter, we encounter once again the Hebrew practice of casting lots. This time, it was used to create the divisions of priests who would work in the temple: "A larger number of leaders were found among Eleazar’s descendants than among Ithamar’s, and they were divided accordingly: sixteen heads of families from Eleazar’s descendants and eight heads of families from Ithamar’s descendants. They divided them impartially by casting lots, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar." (vs 4-5)

God is the one who remembers.

God is the one who remembers.

1 Chronicles 8

After eight chapters, we are nearly done with the genealogies. (At least the ones at the beginning of this book. I’m sure we will encounter more as we go along.) In today’s chapter—as I’m sure you noticed if you read it—there wasn’t particularly much to take hold of. Just another long list of names, following a previous seven chapters of long lists of names.

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 knows the future.

God knows the future.

1 Kings 16

Tucked away into this chapter was this curious little detail: "It was during [Ahab's] reign that Hiel, a man from Bethel, rebuilt Jericho. When he laid its foundations, it cost him the life of his oldest son, Abiram. And when he completed it and set up its gates, it cost him the life of his youngest son, Segub." (vs 34) What in the world does this have to do with anything else in the chapter? And why did this man, Hiel, have to pay such a dear price for rebuilding a city?

God is not blind.

God is not blind.

1 Kings 14

This was one of those Bible stories that I hadn’t remembered reading before. King Jeroboam wanted to know what was going to happen to his son (who was ill). So, he immediately thought of Ahijah, the prophet who had prophesied that he would become king of Israel. (It’s interesting, isn’t it? After years of worshiping false gods, it’s pretty clear that Jeroboam still knew who to go to when he wanted some real answers.)

God knew you before you were born.

God knew you before you were born.

JUDGES 13

When it comes to God, one of the hardest things to wrap my finite, little mind around is the fact that He stands outside of Time. As creatures who are so attached to linear time, it is nearly impossible to discuss this aspect of God, because even the words we use to talk about it—past, present, and future—are all words that are irrevocably linked to linear time. God is outside of and above all of these things.

God likes it when we consult Him.

God likes it when we consult Him.

JOSHUA 16

Did you think the lottery was a modern invention? Well, it isn’t. At least not according to the Bible. It dawned on me today, as I was reading Joshua 16, that the parcels of land in Canaan were being doled out to the various tribes via a lottery (or, the casting of lots). It seems that the Israelites did this quite a bit, and it was a practice still in use when the Roman soldiers famously cast lots for Jesus’ clothing as He hung on the cross.

God knows human nature.

God knows human nature.

JOSHUA 6

Is it just me, or is the story of the Fall of Jericho a little bizarre? I felt like a three-year-old as I read this chapter, as I realized I was asking why? to just about everything. Why did God want tens of thousands of people to march around the city? Why did they do it for seven days? Why not just one time? Why were the Israelites told they couldn’t make a sound—except on the final day, when they shouted? If God just wanted to get rid of everyone in the city, why did He spare Rahab and all her family? And if He wanted to get rid of the people, why did He have the Israelites kill all the animals?

God loves His rebellious children.

God loves His rebellious children.

DEUTERONOMY 31

I would like to marry two concepts I find in this chapter. First, that God’s love is active. It is a verb, not a noun. And second, that God loves us even while knowing exactly who and what we are. His intimate knowledge of our wickedness does not change His love for us. In fact, if anything, I think it fires Him up to love us (that is, to fiercely act for our best good) even more.

God is not subtle.

God is not subtle.

DEUTERONOMY 18

In this chapter of Deuteronomy, there is once again a strong admonition against divination, sorcery, and witchcraft. In fact, God says that the heathen nations in Canaan would be thrust out of the land precisely because they practiced these sorts of detestable things: "The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so." (vs 14)

God notices the little details.

God notices the little details.

EXODUS 37

Did we need to have an entire Bible chapter about the building of the sanctuary elements? Every little detail is mentioned — from the cups on the lampstand to the gold rings on the four corners of the ark. The description seems just as careful as the actual crafting probably was.

So why is this here, and more importantly, what does it communicate to us about God?