selfishness

God's mercy doesn't always change hearts.

God's mercy doesn't always change hearts.

2 Kings 6

During all the years of the American-led war on terror, there have often been debates about how best to bring change to the Middle East—particularly about how to change the hearts and minds of those who seem intent on destroying Western culture and peoples. Many think it is wrong for us to use military force to accomplish these goals, and they offer other solutions instead, ranging from outright ignoring the problem to pacifism or targeted kindness.

Ruined {ex10:7}

Photo © Unsplash/Thu Trang Nguyen Tran

Photo © Unsplash/Thu Trang Nguyen Tran

The question Egypt's officials
put to their king
haunts me

How was he so blind
or so stubborn
or so arrogant
that he didn't see how
everything he loved
was slowly crumbling around him

Or did he see

Maybe the problem wasn't
that he didn't know
but that he did

Maybe the problem wasn't
that he thought he wasn't ruined
but knew he was
and thought there was
still a chance

still a way
he could fix it

One more opportunity
one more try
one more day
to start over
to redouble his efforts
to get it right

Maybe the problem wasn't that Pharaoh
didn't know Egypt was ruined
but that he still believed
he could repair the damage

But there is only
One
who can restore

There is only
One
who can rebuild

There is only
One
who can recover
all that has been lost

and it’s not us—

To be ruined
is not the problem

The problem is
we no more want to obey
than Pharaoh did
those two little words
God spoke:

Let. Go.

 

God's ways are everlasting.

God's ways are everlasting.

1 Kings 12

What a beautiful little nugget there is tucked away in this chapter of 1 Kings. Solomon has died, and his son Rehoboam has taken over the throne in Israel. The people—who had endured hard labor under Solomon—came to Rehoboam and asked him to ease up on them a bit. After asking for some time to think it over, Rehoboam consulted his father’s advisers. This is the advice they gave him: "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants." (vs 7)

God isn't defensive.

God isn't defensive.

2 SAMUEL 10

I love it when the Bible surprises me. I know I’ve read this chapter before, but I read it again today as if for the first time. It seems like David was on a roll, looking for ways to show God’s kindness to those who would be considered enemies. That’s why he sent an Israeli delegation to Hanun, king of the Ammonites, to express his sympathy upon the death of his father.

A Nove Otto on Jealousy {gn30}

Photo © Unsplash/Will O

Photo © Unsplash/Will O

Jacob wanted Rachel to wed.
Laban gave him Leah instead—
Makings of a Gordian Knot.

Of the two, Leah's working womb
Had Rachel spending days in gloom,
Though she had the love Leah sought.

We don't esteem our position,
Chained, as we are, by ambition:
We always want what we ain't got.

 

*Nove Otto: A poem with nine lines, eight syllables per line, and a rhyming scheme of aacbbcddc.

God is a keeper.

God is a keeper.

GENESIS 4

In Genesis 4:9, Cain asks God the famous question, "Am I my brother’s keeper?" It’s startling to see this attitude so near the beginning of the Bible, because it’s an attitude that still pervades the selfish, sin-riddled human heart. Sometimes, I don’t want to be bothered with anyone or anything else. I've got my own plans for my life, and I want other people to just stay out of my way.