Hidden glory in “the boring part” of Numbers 33.
This page lists all 123 resources on the site except Chapter By Chapter, which covers 256 of the 1,189 chapters of the Bible.
Who doesn’t love Hebrew puns foretelling destruction?
Three months? Mary stayed with Elizabeth for a long time! Think with me for a few minutes about that visit.
How do we make sure we encounter God in the Bible, and not just a mirror of ourselves?
What do Pulp Fiction and J.G. Wentworth have to do with the parable of the sower?
Matching the cycle of forgiveness with the cycle of sanctification.
Mark’s favorite word is “immediately.” What’s everyone else’s?
The first five books of the New Testament all record Great Commissions, so why do we always focus on Matthew?
Why does the author of Chronicles leave out the story of David and Bathsheba? That seems like a major oversight.
When the psalms appear to disagree with Jesus’s lifestyle, we need to take a second look.
You’re part of the invasion force of Heaven, and every work you do for the Kingdom of God is part of the assured fall of Satan at the word of Jesus.
The Israelites were famously bad at math, but here’s an instance where they relied on a technique that wouldn’t even be invented for another 3,000 years.
Learning about Mosaic law from Fiddler on the Roof.
Paul reaches back into history and into Scripture to write an old law in a new way for the Corinthians.
Sometimes I forget that God has a name. This psalmist is happy to remind me, over and over again.
The mountaintop is waiting.
Exploring the relationship of sin, repentance, and forgiveness with the help of a Pharisee and a prostitute.
A lived example of Jesus’s proclamation about not hiding a lamp—or a woman—under a basket.
The economy of God is not based on fairness, but on gifts and obedience.
How did Luke hear the story of Jesus staying behind in the Temple as a little boy?
Bringing the men who guard the gates of the tabernacle into the modern church.
Searching the Bible to find the author of Psalm 89.
Jesus tells us how to avoid losing the preparation of Advent and the hope of Christmas in the messiness of January. And February. And March…
Looking at familiar Scripture in new ways can help us see what it’s all about. Psalm 136 is famously repetitive, but don’t let “repetitive” become “boring.”
Malachi 4:5 seems impossible, or at best a contradiction. What happens when Jesus’s disciples finally get up the courage to ask about it?
I hope you enjoyed reading about King Jehoshaphat’s prayer as he responded to what seemed like overwhelming opposition with fellowship and faith.
Did you know Ruth was related to Abraham?
It’s been a while since I posted about the Moabites. Sorry about that! I’ve been a little busy with the coloring book, but we’re back with another story, this time about Lot’s other son/grandson, Ben-ammi, father of the Ammonites.
It’s been a while since we’ve talked here. That’s on me. Sorry.
Lent is one of my favorite times of the Christian year. Like Advent, it’s a time of reflection: looking backward to Jesus to look forward to Jesus. The past year bears more reflection than most, and I hope you have the time to sit and see and savor the presence of God throughout the troubles we’ve seen.
It’s been a strange Lent this year. When you’ve already had to give up so much because of global factors outside your control, it’s hard for any additional sacrifice to seem meaningful, or even worth it. Remember, though, that Lenten sacrifice is a tradition of remembrance, not a command; God wants your heart and your obedience, not your sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). So if giving up even more has been hard this year, give yourself a break. Sit somewhere quiet and see what God has to say.
Our second COVID Easter is coming up next week, and I’m worried we won’t have the energy to celebrate. I’m worried we’ll feel more like Psalms 137:4: “How can we sing the songs of Yahweh in a foreign land?” But I have the cure! Ancient songs for people who feel like you do today.
My parents sent my wife and me some calla lilies for Easter. In contrast to most of the plants we try to grow, they’re still pretty and blooming today, and that’s reason to celebrate. We’ve been fortunate enough to finish our vaccine regimen, too, and that’s another reason. It seems a bit late this year, but spring is here, and there’s hope around. My prayer is that you too have some of that hope today.
It’s been a whole summer since the last time I wrote to you. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and a lot of writing, but not a whole lot of posting. I’m going to fix that starting this Friday—stay tuned for my plan to shift gears for October.
We’re about a week into February, so it’s time to check in on those resolutions. Some huge fraction of people have given up by now, less than 40 days in. How have my resolutions gone? Well, for one thing, it’s February, and this is the first e-mail this year. So… I’m in that fraction. But I haven’t been idle; some good things are happening.
This week was full of unexpected surprises at work, so most of my Bible reading notes are pretty surface-level. But that’s the only place we can ever start: reading the words the Holy Spirit has passed down to us. Only after we know what they say can we start asking harder questions.
Don’t you love that feeling of checking a giant task off your to-do list? I did that about four times last week, only to have the task pop right back up: “not finished yet!” I pray that this week, when you knock your tasks down, they stay down.
I missed another Ash Wednesday service. Unfortunately, I was traveling for work this past Wednesday and didn’t take the time out to find a church in San Francisco and go consecrate these days. Nonetheless, I pray that they will be for me and for you as much a preparation as Advent is each year.
Happy Monday! Three weeks until Palm Sunday and just four until Easter; I hope that your Lenten time has brought you joy. I have been working on memorization this Lent. So far, I’ve captured 1 Corinthians 13 (the one about love), and I’m now working my way through Isaiah 46 (the one about God’s unending faithfulness: “even to old age I am he…”).
Very Minor Prophets
Prophesied that Jeroboam would become the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Also prophesied the death of everyone in Jeroboam’s family.
Counseled King Asa of Judah to enact religious reforms. Asa listens, and then doesn’t listen.
Challenged King Asa of Judah when Asa sent Temple treasures to Ben-Hadad of Syria for an alliance rather than trusting God as he had in the past.
Recorded the reigns of Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijah; possibly Zechariah’s grandfather.
Prophesies that Jehoshaphat and Ahab will lose in a war against Syria (spoiler: they do). Never has anything good to say about Ahab.
Warned Rehoboam not to invade Israel.
Told King Amaziah of Judah not to hire mercenaries from Israel, “for the Lord is not with Israel.”
Told King Amaziah of Judah that worshiping the idols of the defeated Edomites would result in his destruction.
Contemporary of Jeremiah, murdered by the king for prophesying against Jerusalem
Prophet to the young King Joash, who stoned him to death.