enlightenment

God is pure awesomeness.

God is pure awesomeness.

1 Kings 18

At the risk of sounding like a bad flashback from the 80s or 90s, I couldn’t pass this up as the title of today’s blog. This has got to be one of my all-time favorite chapters in the Bible. It seems like I’ve been hearing this story ever since I was a little girl, and it never ceases to amaze me. So, this was a great excuse to sit back and just marvel at God.

Good Question {ex5:2}

Photo © Unsplash/Peter Sjo

Photo © Unsplash/Peter Sjo

Ah,
the ineludible question
of every person
wise or foolish

(for the Lord does not refrain
from entering uninvited
the lives of idolaters
to introduce
Himself).

Asking the question
indicates neither
wisdom
nor
folly.

But how one responds
to the answer
reveals
a fool
or
a genius.

Once we know
the sun
the River
the frogs
et al
are frauds,
will we
relent
or
will we
refuse?

Who is the Lord that i should listen to him?
said pharaoh, the little transient ruler of egypt.

I'm so glad you asked
replied Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

 

God has more for us.

God has more for us.

2 SAMUEL 21

Once again, I’m confounded by David’s actions. I suppose, like the rest of us, he has times of victory and times of failure. I was confused by what he did in this chapter, so I read some commentaries on the matter. Seems like there are differing opinions as to whether God sanctioned David’s actions with the Gibeonites or not. Either way, one thing is clear: Scripture doesn’t record that David asked God beforehand about what he did.

A Change of Heart {gn44:33-34}

Photo © Unsplash/Fadi Xd

Photo © Unsplash/Fadi Xd

as the years had come and gone
since selling Joseph like a pawn
Judah'd had a lot of time
to contemplate his clever crime

but watching how his father grieved
had been much worse than he'd conceived
it wore him down, right to the bone
he reaped much more than he had sown

until at last, a broken man,
he lived a different master plan:
a willingness to be the slave
to sacrifice, and thus to save

redemption needn't seem so strange
even dirty hearts can change

 

Jailbreak {gn41:38-39}

Photo © Unsplash/Carles Rabada

Photo © Unsplash/Carles Rabada

The heathen king of Egypt
was entertained
in the night
by dreams from a divine intruder.

Shocking!

Doesn't God know
you need pastors
and theologians
and a Committee on Missional Vision
to reach the heathen?

We may have God locked up 
in the prison of our ideas
about the most proper way/s
to share the gospel,
but He won’t stay there very long.

For where may we go
to flee from His Spirit?

Not even our dreams.

 

God works with our misconceptions.

God works with our misconceptions.

JUDGES 12

Jephthah... what can you say about a guy like Jephthah? This was the man God used to win a decisive victory over the Ammonites and to lead Israel for six years. The Lord was definitely with him, but he was so... flawed. I mean, in the previous chapter, it seemed that Jephthah thought he would have an easier time securing the Lord’s favor if he "bribed" Him with a sacrifice—the first person who stepped out of the house on his return home. Unfortunately, that was Jephthah’s daughter. He paid dearly for that misconception of God.

Perchance to Dream {gn40}

Photo © Unsplash/Johannes Plenio

Photo © Unsplash/Johannes Plenio

If Potiphar
had believed his wife
Joseph would have been put
in the ground

not in the prison
    /which was Potiphar's prison/
    /probably below his house/

which he was then put in charge of
    /because Potiphar wasn't going to let/
    /a false rape allegation/
    /deprive him of his best help/

Potiphar knew Joseph was innocent
but was content to let him languish
    /God knew Potiphar was spineless/
    /but wasn't content to let him starve/

Sometimes
the concessions of weak men
may be all the justice
we can procure
but the God of our fathers
keeps sending dreams

 

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 plays the hand He is dealt.

God plays the hand He is dealt.

DEUTERONOMY 19

Blood feuds have been around for as long as there have been sinful human beings on this planet. According to the Wikipedia article on feuds, a blood feud is "a feud with a cycle of retaliatory violence, with the relatives of someone who has been killed or otherwise wronged or dishonored seeking vengeance by killing or otherwise physically punishing the culprits or their relatives."

God wants all the things He cannot command.

God wants all the things He cannot command.

DEUTERONOMY 16

I direct an adult volunteer church choir. Some have mused that this is akin to herding cats. An adult volunteer choir is a special sort of group. It is made up of people who love to sing but usually, at least subconsciously, believe they really can’t sing all that well. After all, they’re not "professionals." So they assume they could never achieve a "professional" sort of sound. Consequently, the majority of rehearsal time is spent in trying to persuade them to get themselves out of the way so their voices can do what they intuitively know how to do — sing properly.

God sees differently than we do.

God sees differently than we do.

DEUTERONOMY 9

As Moses continues to recount the failures of faith in the wilderness, he reminds the people where they’re going. "Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. The people are strong and tall — Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: 'Who can stand up against the Anakites?'" (vs 1-2)

God reveals the heart.

God reveals the heart.

DEUTERONOMY 8

I was intrigued by this verse today: "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands." (vs 2)  As I read, I thought, didn’t God already know what was in the hearts of the Israelites? Of course He did. God knows us intimately and reads our hearts.

God is not nationalistic.

God is not nationalistic.

DEUTERONOMY 7

Wow, this is a pretty heavy chapter. God lays out for the Israelites the plan to take over Canaan. There is talk of both destruction and driving nations out ahead of the Israelites with "the hornet." (vs 20)  God does say that, when the Israelites have defeated a nation, they are to destroy everything associated with that nation's gods. "This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire." (vs 5)

God plays offense.

God plays offense.

DEUTERONOMY 4

I totally loved this part: "Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other." (vs 32-35)

God champions women's rights.

God champions women's rights.

NUMBERS 27

Long before there was the National Organization of Women, there was God. In this chapter, the daughters of a man named Zelophehad came to Moses to plead their case: their father had died, never having had any sons, and under the current rules of ownership in Israel, they would be left without any land inheritance. So they said, "Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives." (vs 4)

God speaks sign language.

God speaks sign language.

NUMBERS 17

This chapter contains one of my favorite Bible verses. But I doubt it’s one that makes the usual "Top Ten" list of most-quoted Scripture: "The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds." (vs 8)

God is all about freedom.

God is all about freedom.

LEVITICUS 25

There is something really beautiful in this chapter of Leviticus: "Even if [an Israelite slave] is not redeemed in any of these ways, he and his children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God." (vs 54-55)